Demand increases for water sign-ups

Feb. 06, 2013 @ 06:04 PM

Piping modifications and additional design inspection fees associated with the Vance County water project received commissioners’ approval for additional funding during Monday night’s board meeting.

After construction began on phase 1A last summer, many roads are receiving additional sign-ups, including 16,000 feet of road that was not originally assigned to the project.
The average amount of connections, or sign-ups per mile, is 18, well above the minimum of 12 required for funding by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

“Eighteen is a good number,” said Rob Bernard, county water project manager.
“We had 54 new sign-ups for areas that had not been assigned yet,” Bernard said. “That’s just the sign-ups with the new work we’re doing.”

According to Bernard there were roads originally associated with the project that did not meet the USDA’s minimum requirement of 12 connections per mile, which also received additional sign-ups.
“A lot of roads got designed, but they couldn’t go to bid because there weren’t enough sing-ups,” Bernard said. “People see all that work going on and they come out and say, ‘Hey, we want water too.’”

The professional service fee for additional sign-ups in the amount of $90,107 received unanimous board approval.
“That fee includes a lot of things,” Bernard said. “It is design work we’ve already done and design work we’re going to do.”

Construction on the new roads and piping extension on roads where work is in progress is expected to begin during late spring.
“Once we have to go through the change order process, and amending the contract, it will begin,” said Jerry Ayscue, county manager. “We’ve got some additional due diligence to do before its added to the contract.

“For those that change orders are approved for it will begin later this spring.”
Also receiving board approval were two change orders associated with the construction contract for phase 1A of the project, including tank piping modifications costing $21,941, and vault piping modifications totaling $60,114.

“Tank piping modifications, essentially, they have to connect to a pipe on the other side of the road,” Bernard said. “So they have to extend the casing under the road.”
Vault piping modifications are related to construction of a 200,000 gallon elevated tank, used for extra water storage.

“During a typical day, the demands on the water, you have peeks and valleys,” Bernard said. “Under normal situations the water supply demands, Henderson meets that, but during peak periods there may need to be additional water, and that comes from the tanks.”
Peak situations would include times when most families are having meals during breakfast, lunch and dinner, during the summer when everyone uses a lot of water, and in emergency situations.

“If there’s a serious draw like in the case of a fire, water in the elevated tank helps supply that,” Bernard said.
The county water project began in 2005 with planning and environmental studies. Nearly eight years later, the project is in full force with pipes being placed in the ground, and construction of phase 1A expected to be complete by June of this year.

With an increasing amount of sing-ups happening, more citizens than expected in Vance County will soon receive fresh, reliable drinking water.
“This thing is fluid,” said Tommy Hester, chairman of the Vance County board of commissioners. “I’m glad we have this problem.”

Contact the writer at amauser@hendersondispatch.com.