Water valve replacement underway (September 21, 2022)

BULLHEAD CITY — Residents in Bullhead City could see short-term drops in water pressure as work is done to replace or repair old valves in the municipal system.

Prestige Worldwide Technologies LLC has been contracted to replace or repair 130 pressure-reducing or pressure-control valves throughout the system the city purchased from EPCOR Water Arizona earlier this year after taking over operation in September 2021 through imminent domain proceedings.

Since acquiring the system, the city has encountered numerous issues that city officials claim were caused by EPCOR’s failure to adequately improve the system.

It’s going to take a decade, in my opinion, to make up for EPCOR’s deferred maintenance, City Manager Toby Cotter said during the Aug. 16 Bullhead City Council meeting. Our residents are going to continue seeing capital projects over and over.

This round of repairs will help prevent or minimize future system failures.

Pressure-reducing valves regulate water pressure throughout the entire system; faulty valves result in unbalanced water pressure that can strain or damage pipes and equipment, the city’s utilities department said in a news release.

By maintaining or replacing old valves, Bullhead City Utilities is extending the lifespan of existing infrastructure and providing a more reliable and consistent quality of water service for customers, the city said.

Prestige Worldwide Technologies began replacing and repairing valves on Sept. 12 and anticipates its work to be completed by the end of the month.

The Bullhead City Council approved a $434,000 contract for the work at its Aug. 16 meeting.

Prestige’s bid, one of two received by the city, was more than $1 million lower than the other bid received.

Residents may notice a significant drop in pressure — for a brief time — as system components in their area are replaced or repaired.

Water customers may experience intermittent drops in water pressure while crews work in various neighborhoods, City Public Information Officer Mackenzie Covert said. These drops in water pressure should last no longer than one hour at a time.

The work is part of the city’s ongoing capital improvement and infrastructure maintenance and improvement projects taking place throughout the city with the water and wastewater systems.

I want the residents of our community to understand that while it appears we are spending a lot of money — and in fact we are — millions of dollars is being invested in our water and wastewater systems, Cotter said. Some of that’s been deferred — some of that should have been spent years ago (by EPCOR), some of it’s being spent now. EPCOR deferred a lot and we can’t make up for it all at once.

Cotter said the improvements are budgeted.

There is a financial plan and it’s solid, Cotter said. “And the city has the funding and wherewithal to complete these projects.

It sounds like a lot of money, because it is. The alternative (failure of the water or wastewater systems) is really darn scary.

Bullhead City Utilities Director Mark Clark said a benefit of the city’s ownership of the system is regular inspection and maintenance; city officials have maintained those were lacking previously.

Source: Mohave Valley Daily News