Terminal Reservoir Rebuild Project Complete In Millcreek Area

Sep 26, 2018, 7:40 PM | Updated: 9:16 pm

MILLCREEK, Utah – A seven-year project to rebuild a critical reservoir on the east bench of Salt Lake County wrapped up this week to help keep the water flowing reliably.

If not for our water storage on the Wasatch Front, many of us might have run out of water weeks ago in this hot, dry summer.

The Terminal Reservoir in the Canyon Rim area – just inside I-215 on the east bench – now meets seismic standards for earthquake safety.

“This is a critical piece of infrastructure,” said Project Manager Greg Loscher.

He gave KSL a look around the brand-new reservoir during an open house earlier this week.

When you turn on the water tap in downtown Salt Lake City, the water comes from the Terminal Reservoir in Millcreek on 3300 South. The 20-acre reservoir facility sends water to 400,000 homes in the valley. Loscher said it was due for a rebuild.

The reservoir first opened for service of treated drinking water in 1951 with a capacity of 40 million gallons. An aqueduct brings the water from Deer Creek Reservoir 42 miles away. The water passes through the water treatment plant at the mouth of Little Cottonwood Canyon on the way, before flowing the last eight miles to the reservoir.

“It reached the end of its design life, and also didn’t meet any current seismic standards,” said Loscher of the old reservoir.

The rebuilt reservoir adds 9 million gallons of capacity, he said, bringing the storage total to nearly 50 million gallons of water. That’s the amount of water that flows over Niagara Falls in 64 seconds. That’s why the reservoir also needed to be rebuilt to seismic standards for earthquake safety.

“Which is important to me and the residents of our city that live just west of these reservoirs, ” said Cheri Jackson, a Millcreek City Council Member who lives below the reservoir and represents those people.

“Hopefully, it will prevent a major flood in the event of an earthquake,” she said.

The district maintained storage throughout the entirety of the project by phasing in construction.

“We were able to maintain roughly 40 million gallons on site throughout the project,” said Mike Devries, General Manager of the Metropolitan Water District of Salt Lake and Sandy.

The water district can build another 11,000,000 gallon reservoir on site when it is needed.

Jackson points out, the added storage is another reminder that we always need to slow the flow in Utah.

“We have more and more people coming into our valley every year, and it’s important that we are conservation minded and treat water as the precious commodity that it is,” she said.

“Nobody knows it’s there. It’s all underground and it just quietly does its job and you never think about it you just turn on your tap and drink your water.”

The total cost of the rebuild was $42 million.

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Terminal Reservoir Rebuild Project Complete In Millcreek Area