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System Upgrade Project Q&A

The following questions were submitted by corporation members to the board of directors in preparation for the informational meeting that was held on Nov 6, 2014. Answers have been provided by representatives from Scheiss & Associates, the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality, and members of the CLWC board. The questions here are specific to the system upgrade project. For additional non-project-related questions, please see the Questions page.

If you would like to ask a question that is not listed here, please use the contact form.


A: The membership vote earlier this year was for Option C, by a significant margin over the other alternatives. Option C called for the CLWC and the developer to join forces in a combined "System Improvements" and "System Expansion" project. Proponents assert that homeowners will benefit because the resulting infrastructure will be shared, providing additional supply, storage, and boosting capacity to our system.

A: CLWC has multiple remedies for payment defaults:

  • The agreement required a 25% down payment. That has been received.
  • Lot sales must stop if payments are in arrears upon notification by CLWC to the developer. CLWC can accept new lot sales, at their option, upon the developer causing $15,000 to be remitted to CLWC at the closing of each lot sale.
  • Collection action against Comore Development, Inc (Randy Skidmore, Vice President).
  • Collection action against BDS, LLC (Richard Skidmore, Managing Member).
  • Liquidation of collateral. Collateral consists of two commercial lots off of Hitt Road across from Cabela's and 125 acres of property between Tank 3 and Division 25.
  • No future divisions accepted.

A: The Board is wrestling with all those numbers as part of the 2015 rate determination. We will be providing a detailed breakdown of all costs before the billing cycle that begins on 1 Jan.


A: The Bernoulli equation is used to describe these relationships. The pressure drop in the pipe is a function of the pipe roughness, length, water velocity^2 and diameter^3. When flow (or velocity) goes up pressure goes down. When the pipe size (diameter) goes down, pressure goes down. When the length of pipe goes up, pressure goes down.

A: The proper pressure in the main pipe is 40-80 psi per the Idaho Drinking Water Rules 

A: Only if static pressure exceeds 80 psi.

A: We flowed hydrants and measured pressure a year ago for the study. We then calibrated a model. The model was used to account for peak summer demand.


A: Tank 1 was located above those it serves. Tank 2 was not high enough so a booster station was used to serve the Zone 3 homes (not involved in that design). Tank 3 will be located above the housing it serves. 

A: Why not? It doesn't really matter since it is the elevation of the water table and not the land surface that counts.

A: We followed design guidance of IDAPA and Section 003.16. Tank sizes include volume for the following:

  • Equalization storage
  • Fire flow storage
  • Operational storage
  • Stand-by storage
  • Dead storage

A: Tank 3 will be filled by all system wells via Big Bend BPS. Once the water is in Tank 3, it could be used to serve homes in Zone 4, 3, and fire flow in Zone 2 if needed.

A: Yes. Close all connecting valves between Zone 1 and Zone 2 which I understand has been done. The system can also verify that the check valves in the BPS’s are functional. 

A: No.

A: Yes. With Tank 3 they will get all they need plus 1500 gpm fire flow. 70 psi min on Red Bluff, 40-45 psi min at the top of Zone 3.

A: The existing booster pump station at Tank 2 will be moth balled for several years to keep water fresh in Tank 3. There may come a day when using Tank 2 BPS will minimize pumping costs to serve Zone 3. The Zone 3 supply available from Tank 3 would not be impaired by restarting Tank 2 BPS.

A: No. This practice is a means of expanding the reach of a storage tank. There is nothing wrong with it if done right. 

A: No. Generally higher may tend to not be as good (For water to collect in an underground pool, lower seems a lesser risk). 

A: Idaho Drinking Water Rules do not go into detail about declaring any well the redundant well. By our interpretation of the Rules, you must assume that the largest well will be out of service. Redundancy of well sources must match supply capability of largest source. You can have less water rights then pumping capability as long as the extra well pumping capability is redundant. Withdrawal can be taken from any source if all wells have been named as a point of diversion for each water right.

A: Tank 3 provides fire flow to Zones 2, 3 and 4. The Red Bluff area in Zone 3 will have pressure in the 70 psi range. More water will be available to put out a house fire in Zone 2.

A: Yes. A minimum of 40-45 psi at the top of Zone 3, which can be modified upward with the Pressure Reducing, Pressure Sustaining Valves (PRPSV's). But pushing the pressure up on the top of Zone 3 can make the pressure too high at the bottom of Zone 3. Homes at the bottom of Zone 3 will have as high as 105 psi pressure.

A: Yes, but not desired because it costs energy (money) to pump the water to a high place, then bleed out the pressure and bring the water back down to a lower place. Once the water is pumped to a high place it is better to use the water in the high place. It is automated for Tank 2 via the PRPSV between Zone 3 and Zone 2. I believe now it would be manual to fill Tank 1. This concern is why we suggested a portable generator. A generator would prevent this from ever being needed.


A: Tank 3 is largest. It will provide fire flow for Zones 4, 3, and 2. The fire flow for Zone 1 will be held in new Tank 1.

A: Zone 3 will have full fire flow protection once Tank 3 is constructed and the PRPSV's between Zone 4 and Zone 3 have verified pressure set points.

A: There is not enough time to get new facilities online for the summer of 2015. By end of 2015 the system should be built to provide increased fire flow capability to everyone.

A: 1500 gpm for two hours which sums to 180,000 gal, which is Bonneville County’s current requirements. It used to be 250 gpm when most of the system was built.


A: Capacity questions are best answered with a plea to work toward conservation and a reduction of water use. Water meters would help. See attached water use comparison in nearby cities.

A: System was designed to get system to the buildout condition while using a maximum of 10 gpm peak hour flow per home. 

A: You bring out a good point, and, in honesty, until we get flow meters installed on all our pumps (wells and booster stations), we really don’t know if we do or do not have the actual pumping capacity required to meet the 10.1 gpm per lot design capacity. Fortunately, the project includes installing new flowmeters throughout the system so that we will know precisely how much flow is being generated from each well and transferred to each area of Comore Loma. As far as transferring of allocations, the Comore Loma Water System is a totally interconnected system and water from all sources is blended into a single supply. There is no specific allocation of water from a well or tank to a unique division or zone. The improvement project will add the water from Well 7 into that large pool and the new booster stations and additional storage capacity will serve to increase overall supply and broaden the distribution of the same.

A: The project will have no immediate effect on water restrictions for next year.  Even if we had twice as many pumps and double our current pumping capacity, our limiting factor would continue to be the State authorized water withdrawal rate.  As long as we run sprinkler systems requiring 30-50 gpm, we will have to cooperate with each other to make that possible.  Changes in technique and philosophy would also be helpful.  Ensuring that water is distributed evenly across the lawn; deep watering to help the lawn become more drought resistant; maintaining a 3”-4” cut on the lawn to support deep roots; watering steep slopes in shorter, repeated cycles rather than one long one to eliminate runoff, would contribute to healthy lawns while reducing the amount of water used.  Developing a philosophy of "how can I best use the minimum amount of water to maintain a healthy lawn" rather than “how can I put all the water I can on my lawn” would likely reduce the pressure on the system as well and result in stronger lawns.  Having said all that, early next year the Board will examine possible alternatives to the two-day-per-week and water cop system used the last two years.  But, whatever system the Board implements, it will still require that neighbors respect each other’s needs, in order to be successful.

A: It depends upon how willing the users are to begin a conservation program. We suggest a conservation program that includes Best Management Practices for lawn care, avoidance of or removal of steep sloping lawn that is hard to keep wet and the installation of water meters. 10 gpm was used in the study because a water right for a single home in the country is allowed to irrigate a half acre and is allowed 0.02 cfs of flow or 13,000 gal/day. This is 9.0 gpm. It became apparent by trying to design new infrastructure for any more than 10 gpm/connection peak hour average per home was simply unsustainable. Too much infrastructure would be necessary to comply with the Drinking Water Rules. 10 gpm is an extreme amount of water supply and 340% more than Iona provides to their users. 10 gpm is manageable but still very costly. In design of new development we typically use 800 gal/day per home (which is an excessive amount of water) plus one inch/week of irrigation water on a half acre per lot. This is normally accepted by DEQ. When this is multiplied upward to account for peak hour flow use, it would fall below the peak hour flow per home average that occurs in Iona.