Finally the public heard the truth about the unusable state of the Lake Spence pipeline. Former Water Chief Will Wilde offered such information in 2009 to push the Water Board to develop the Hickory Aquifer.
Seven years later Wilde's eventual replacement said it would take $25 million to rehab the Spence pipeline and install an intake barge. Upper Colorado River Authority head Chuck Brown put the price tag at $20 million.
Who's been responsible for maintaining the pipeline?
Water Utilities Maintenance provides maintenance, preventative maintenance and construction to all water and wastewater treatment plants, water pump stations, water storage tanks, wastewater liftstations, more than 150 grinder pumps, the Sewer Farm pump station, Nasworthy Dam, Nasworthy irrigation canal, Twin Buttes Dam, and the Spence pipeline, water tanks and pump stations.It's the same folks who stated in their 2015 Consumer Confidence Report:
WHERE DOES OUR WATER COME FROM?
San Angelo currently has six surface water sources: Twin Buttes Reservoir, O.C. Fisher Lake, Lake Nasworthy, O.H. Ivie Reservoir, E.V. Spence Reservoir, and the South Concho River.
Spence has not been maintained to a usable level for quite some time. It would be interesting to hear the history of its failure and a clear assessment/plan for restoration. Ironically, that information exists in a 2012 study by Freese and Nichols for the Upper Colorado River Authority.
To determine the required raw water system improvements, FNI first examined the existing E.V. Spence Reservoir raw water supply infrastructure, which is owned by the City of San Angelo. The system was originally designed in 1968 for 20 MGD of flow from the E.V. Spence Reservoir to the City of San Angelo.Current Water Chief Bill Riley called restoring the Spence pipeline a very long term project. City leaders were united in pushing one project to the exclusion of all others. I'll explore how the city went from raising our rates to total alignment between City Manager Daniel Valenzuela, Executive Public Works Director Ricky Dickson and Water Chief Bill Riley. My guess is it will be a rapid ride.
The existing E.V. Spence Reservoir raw water supply infrastructure, as seen on Figure 3.1, has been out of service since the early 1990s due to multiple failures on the 36” pipeline.