A lot has changed in Shoshoni in the 28 years when the town last had a level II master plan compiled, back in 1991. The community built a completely new K-12 school. The former school was demolished and the site cleared, as was the eastern block of South Main Street. Some businesses have consolidated, others have started up like the rail car rehabilitation plant that is the town’s largest employer. The entire water distribution system was reconstructed in the mid 1990’s. These changes have all affected water service in the town. It also changes how the town needs to plan for providing water service for the next 20 years.

The town has experienced repeated challenges with its water transmission lines that interconnect the well, tank, and the town. More frequently than it should, the transmission line fails and the town is left without any ability to get water from its only tank to town. This leaves the town with almost no fire protection while the transmission line is repaired. That usually takes a few days. The town’s wells are all nearly forty years old. One is now well over 50 years old. These issues combined with ongoing operational struggles have brought the Town Council to the conclusion that they want to make a review of the entire water system. Shoshoni’s water system appears relatively straight forward: wells, tank and distribution system. When one looks at the geographic expanse and rough terrain that the wells and tank are scattered over, it is obviously not simple.

In digging up the transmission line, the operators have found sections that were installed directly on bedrock. Some sections have only shallow cover. The fact that this line frequently fails starts to become better understood.

Still, the town wants to have answers to their nagging questions:
• Does the system have the capacity supply to meet demands?
• Would it be capable of meeting needs it the town gets a population influx when the Moneta Divide gas field goes into development with is planned 3000 wells?
• What can we do to reduce the breaks and other failures that keep the operator awake at night?
• How can the town’s people afford to make the system more trouble free?
These nuances of the Level I Water Master plan project require serious and thoughtful attention to detail. It requires an understanding also of the serious financial limitations the town has to operate within and the financial capacity of the residents.

James Gores and Associates has teamed with Engineering Associates to thoughtfully evaluate Shoshoni’s most troublesome water system relates questions. The immediate need to determine the cause of and alternative solutions to the perplexing, costly, recurring transmission line breaks will be given top priority.

We want to make an equally solid review of the system components also: the town’s four supply wells, the troublesome transmission system, the tank, the SCADA system, and the distribution system. We want to search out any weaknesses in the system and determine what is working, what is sound, and where are the failure risks.

Planning the sustainability requires physical and fiscal soundness equally. We will evaluate the towns past years of operating revenues and expenses. We will compare those to systems of similar complexity and similar service populations. We want to identify what Shoshoni can do to plan for a secure and sustainable water supply future and allow it the ability to adeptly respond to any of the several future need scenarios that the community may face.

We look forward to the opportunity to work with the WWDC and Shoshoni to resolve their present water system frustrations and help them plan a secure water future for a system that easily meets needs with ease of operational efficiency.

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