New waterline goes into service

Margaret Allen
The contractor in March installed new 12-inch waterline at this site looking north of 45th Street about halfway to Interstate 70.

A $844,238 project to give northwest Hays a backup water supply and better water pressure is wrapping up now.

The project, which was started mid-December, added a new 12-inch water main and a new above-ground booster pump station as a backup to the one 16-inch water main that was serving the growing area.

“All the connections have been made,” Jeff Crispin, director of water resources for the City of Hays, said Tuesday. “Today they went in and shut six of the valves in the system to make that separation between the north and the south station.”

The new waterline along Hall Street, which runs 206 feet through a tunnel buried 9 feet below the four lanes of Interstate 70, went into service Tuesday, Crispin said.

“Today we began making the connections and put the new line along Hall and under I-70 over to Carrico Implement along 48th Street in service,” said Crispin. “This involved closing of valves near 41st Street. In the next two weeks the new booster station will be brought online.”

He expects the project to be done by Sept. 18.

“We’ll allow a week or two for the water system to stabilize,” Crispin said. “Then we’ll turn on the new booster station around Sept. 1.”

Contractor was Midlands Contracting Inc., of Kearney, Neb.

Before the new waterline and booster station, the motels, hotels, stores, gas stations and restaurants clustered north of I-70 along US-183 highway got city water from one source, a 16-inch line that crosses under I-70 and an existing booster station on 41st Street.

The old line and a 500,000-gallon water tower north of I-70 were built in 1993, when there were just a few businesses on the north side of the interstate.

Adding a second line and station provides a backup if the existing line fails, but also brings higher water pressure to the northwestern areas of the city, Crispin said, in line with the guidance of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

Pressure north of 41st Street was about 10 to 15 psi less than areas of Hays to the south, according to Crispin. He said businesses and homeowners in the new pressure zone may notice fluctuations in their water pressure for awhile.

“New pressures will range between 70-90 psi,” Crispin said at a news briefing Aug. 18 at City Hall. “KDHE recommends that the normal working pressure in a distribution system range between 60 and 100 psi.”

The new line crosses I-70 at Hall Street, connecting a 12-inch water main from 45th and Hall to an existing dead-end line along 48th Street at the west property line of Carrico Implement.

The booster station was installed last, sitting on 4 acres of city-owned property along west 41st Street, east of Post Road near city water well No. 32, according to Crispin.

Working in tandem with the existing underground booster station, the new booster station will have room to expand. It is powered by electricity, with a standby generator.

Hays Daily News