Flood cleanup continues in Tooele County area hit by wildfire last year

Aug 5, 2023, 8:03 PM | Updated: 8:05 pm

STOCKTON, Utah — It has been a week of seemingly nonstop cleanup. Rainstorms across much of northern Utah have left behind lots of water and plenty of mud.

But for all the efforts to keep Soldier Canyon Road near Stockton open for recreationists, it is the recent work done near the water treatment plant along the road that really kept the small city going.

“We have done a lot of work to try and help preserve our water,” Stockton mayor Nando Meli said.

One of those projects may have helped during the storms.

Berms made of large rocks were built around Stockton’s water treatment plant and the well pump house to try and keep mud and debris from flowing into them.

Especially with what happened after the Jacob City wildfire last summer when the next rainstorm after the fire flooded the area and got into both buildings.

Monsoon rain helping firefighters tame the flames of Jacob City Fire

Residents faced a large water bill increase to pay for new infrastructure.

“Our generator malfunctioned because of the wiring, it burned up because of the fire impact and so they brought in an emergency generator to help run the well,” Meli said. “It created a big problem for us with the water.”

Electricity is being run to that well to keep it operating with underground cables to limit future flood damage to them, but that work won’t be done until later this month.

That’s why these recent rainstorms, and all the mud flowing down the canyon from them, had Meli and others in the city worried about the well.

“That’s the thing in Stockton,” Meli said. “If something happens to our well, then we’re out of water. So, then we’ll have to do something to haul water in. That’s not cheap.”

However, the berms held, and most of the flooding flowed next to the facility instead of right into it.

It was a big relief for Meli, but he is still concerned about future rainstorms and the intake area where water from the canyon enters the treatment facility.

“We had some help seeding the area to try and grow that vegetation back we lost from the fire,” Meli said. “It is amazing how there is nothing to stop the water. When it rains, that water just comes down the canyon.”

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Flood cleanup continues in Tooele County area hit by wildfire last year