Arsenic Removal System: Without treatment, the water delivered by all of the wells in the Black Canyon City area would not meet the federal requirement for acceptable levels of arsenic, less than 10 parts per billion. Area wells test at greater than 12 parts per billion. After several years of investigating options, the Board and Management team decided to use an arsenic removal system developed by AdEdge Technologies. It took four more months to deliver, install, and qualify this new system. The new system was reviewed and accepted by ADEQ (Arizona Department of Environmental Quality) and came online 5 months before the EPA deadline of January 26, 2006. The arsenic test level for our water is essentially zero when media is first installed. Over a period of two to three years arsenic levels gradually increase to the Federal limit as the media loses effectiveness. An expensive media replacement is necessary at that time. Both the Board and Management of the BCCWID are highly regarded within the state for being one of the first small water systems to accomplish full compliance. The cost of installing three of these systems, one at each of our well sites, approached $500,000.00 and was fully funded by District funds set aside as part of the long-term financial plan implemented by the Board and Management. Many small water companies have had great difficulty funding this unexpected capital improvement (compliance was mandatory and non-compliance could have resulted in our system being shut down).
Chlorination System: An unexpected consequence of the new Arsenic System was the need to change the way we were chlorinating water. The computerized AccuTab system introduces chlorine into the water in precise quantities, insuring the highest quality of water for our Owner/Users. The cost of installing this system and the three small buildings required to house it, approached $100,000 and was revenue financed with no need for implementing property taxes or incurring additional debt.
Our Tanks and Distribution System: The age of our distribution system varies from relatively new to some pipe that is 50+ years old. The installation was frequently not consistent with today's codes, in many cases the exact placement of lines is unknown, and lines occasionally run on developed property with no established right of ways, except as a pre-existing condition. Many of our lines are not buried 3 foot deep under streets as required by Yavapai County. Over the course of time, the older water mains will have to be replaced to meet current ADEQ/County standards, especially as the County resurfaces streets. Many of our wellhead tanks have been in place for 25 years or more. A few years ago one of the tanks at the Big John well site began to leak and a new tank had to be purchased quickly and installed at a cost of approximately $20,000.
Capital Improvements: Capital Improvements expenditures are expected to be ongoing. To prevent the system from becoming inoperable, worn out parts must be regularly replaced. Prudent budgeting by the Board for capital improvements and day-to-day operations allows our water system to reliably service all of our customers. The District maintains a plan for future Capital Improvements and annually determines the necessary funding. In this way, not only has the BCCWID been able to eliminate the large debt incurred when the District purchased the water system in the '80's but there has been enough Capital Improvement money collected from billings to maintain delivery capability without the resorting to property taxes or bonds.