Columbus plans for $1.5m of water needs over 5 years

Published 11:26 pm Sunday, March 31, 2013

Town’s population expected to grow over 1.5 times by 2035

Columbus Town Council got a detailed look of its water system during a meeting March 21 through a preliminary engineering report and comprehensive water model and master plan that will guide the expansion of the town’s water source to meet demands beyond the year 2035.

Columbus was awarded a grant to conduct a hydraulic study of the town’s system that includes a capital improvement plan of needs for the next 20 years.

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The report includes projections of future customers, mainly due to the development of Foster Creek Preserve. In 2010, Columbus’ population was 999 and with Foster Creek Preserve, projections are for the population to grow to 2,636 by 2035. Water customers in 2010 were 1,229 residential and projections are for that number to grow to 1,674 by 2035.

The town hired W.K. Dickson to do the water studies with Brian Tripp with W.K. Dickson attending council’s meeting on March 21.

Tripp said the town’s average water usage is 175 gallons per day per person, which includes all the water one person would use in one day at home, work and all other places.

Tripp also said in the next 20 years the town needs to address its 500,000-gallon water storage tank to meet demands by either replacing it or adding a second tank.

“It is an aging asset,” Tripp said.

Tripp also said overall the town’s water system is good, but the town does have areas that have problems meeting fire flow demands.

In the next five fiscal years, the town’s capital improvement plan includes the completion of fire hydrant maintenance and replacement, the completion of the installation of town water meters with radio read meters and upgrading the existing water line serving Beechwood Drive to 6-inch lines.

The town’s five-year plan includes $45,000 in meter replacements, $16,000 in hydrant replacements, $280,000 in replacing Beechwood Drive lines, $220,250 to replace Blanton Street water lines to six-inch lines for fire flow improvements from E. Mills to E. Constance and another $348,700 on Blanton Street from Park to Walker.

The five-year plan also includes developing the town’s fifth well at a cost of $502,600 and $15,000 for water plan master plan update for a total of an estimated $1,428,150 in needed improvements through fiscal year 2017-1018.

Columbus currently has four ground wells, producing a total of 828,000 gallons per day maximum. The town also owns a 500,000-gallon storage tank located on the side of Foster Mountain at the top of Overlook Road. The town’s largest well is located at Shamrock Water Station Road which can produce 288,000 gallons per day with the second largest-producer located at Wood Hayes Road producing a maximum of 216,000 gallons per day. Others wells at Farm Industrial Park Road produce a maximum of 144,000 gallons per day and Skyuka Water Town Road at 180,000 gallons per day respectively.

Council members saw detailed maps of their system, which includes over 30 miles of water lines, which were rated between average to fair condition.

Council also saw a chart of its largest water users, with the top user being Tryon Estates at 35,243 average daily usage, St. Luke’s Hospital with 15,772 gallons, Tryon-Columbus Retirement Association at 10,775 gallons, Columbus Laundromat at 4,975 gallons, Days Inn at 3,788 gallons, Kentucky Fried Chicken at 3,593 gallons, The Sanctuary at 3,287 gallons, Tryon Federal Bank at 3,015 gallons, Road Runner Markets at 2,996 gallons and the welcome center at 2,558 average gallons per day.