The community should be aware that Moab City intends to install a 20-foot tall, 2.5-million gallon concrete water tank on the southeast corner of the four-way stop at Spanish Valley Drive and Spanish Trail Road. I question if this is the best use for this piece of property.
Additional water storage for Moab is a state requirement and this location is certainly a cost-convenient place to put a tank. It is up-valley for gravity feed to the city. Rock does not need to blasted from a cliff to install a tank. A supply pipe already exists along Spanish Valley Drive.
Some of my concerns follow. The tank is intended to be placed 13 feet underground with some of the above-ground wall bermed. The water table lies 12 to 20 feet below surface at this location so the lower part of the tank will be at/ near/ in the water table. Aquifer water will need to be lowered (pumped) during construction. The supply pipeline, which crosses private property beneath landscaping, is 50 years old.
The biggest issue is the potential for a catastrophic failure of the system and damage to downslope nearby homes (mine, for one) and property, especially along Pack Creek where the overflow will be directed. How likely is a catastrophic failure during the lifetime of the tank? Don’t know, but ask the folks in Eaglepointe Estates in North Salt Lake City if they were expecting the 500-foot-wide rock and soil slide which destroyed a house and damaged a tennis club last August. Separate geotechnical engineers’ reports required by that city and the subdivider, Sky Properties, indicated that the land was suitable for the subdivision. Because of these reports, the city and subdivider each state that they are not liable for the damage. In fact, even the Eagleridge Tennis and Swim Club and Questar have been blamed for the landslide! Just two weeks ago a remediation deal was reached, but litigation stretches far into the future.
Few residents seem to know about the water tank, or construction and design details. Discussion and a vote on the tank may be on the Moab City Council agenda for Tuesday, June 23, beginning at 7 p.m. Please check the agenda and consider attending the meeting to ask questions and find out more about the project.
Moab Mayor Dave Sakrison told the Moab Sun News that the city council will postpone its discussion of the issue until its first meeting next month on Tuesday, July 14.