Home » Government » Council discusses Globes’ water security at March 20 special meeting

Council discusses Globes’ water security at March 20 special meeting

Overlooking downtown Globe. Photo by LCGross.

Members of the Globe City Council: Mayor Al Gameros, Vice Mayor Mike Stapleton (District 4), and Council members Freddy Rios (District 1), Mike Pastor (District 2), Jesse Leetham (District 3), Mariano Gonzalez (District 5), and Fernando Shipley (District 6). All members were in attendance at this meeting except Vice Mayor Stapleton.

At a special meeting of Globe’s City Council on March 20, recently retired City Engineer Jerry Barnes presented information about Globe’s water infrastructure as part of an ongoing discussion about water security. The presentation covered the current status of the City’s water infrastructure and recommendations for the future.

Water system stats

Summarizing the data for Globe, Barnes said the total maximum well capacity is just over 1 billion gallons, and the total tank capacity is 5.65 million gallons. The average per-person water usage for Globe is 112 gallons per day, and the total Globe Service Area water usage per day is 1.29 million gallons. Annual usage is 426 million gallons.

Over 100 miles of waterline infrastructure are in the service area, and about 32 miles have been replaced or rehabbed in the past 15 years. This leaves approximately 70 miles of lines that still need work.

Based on replacement costs for water lines averaging $188 per linear foot, Barnes said the estimated cost to replace the remaining infrastructure would be around $70 million. He pointed out that those costs are likely to rise in the future.

These are long-term problems that have long-term solutions, but the time to start is now. – Paul Jepson

The city loses about 21% of its water yearly to “non-revenue water loss,” which includes broken water mains, fire suppression, tank repairs, leaks, hydrant testing, and other uses. Barnes said that number is currently running high because of the amount of construction happening in Globe now. He said there have been two water main breaks due to construction in the past month.

Wells produce ample water

Globe uses seven wells. The City’s five Cutter wells provide most of the city’s water, and the Pine Street and Hagen wells contribute smaller amounts. Barnes said Public Works cycles between them so the individual wells won’t be overused and worn out. 

In total, the seven wells are currently producing 435 million gallons per year (1,334 acre-feet) and could potentially produce a maximum of just over 1 billion gallons per year (3,220 acre-feet). This would require running all the pumps 24/7/365.

The Cutter wells pull from the Cutter aquifer, and the Hagen and Pine Street wells draw from the Gila Conglomerate aquifer. Numerous other wells are located in the area and are not currently in use, but they could be put into service with some work or water treatment, depending on the well, Barnes said.

The well pumps are maintained on a five-year cycle, each receiving maintenance at least every three years.

We’re not in bad shape, but we’re in the place where we need to think about the future. – Jerry Barnes

Barnes gave figures for well static water level measurements. The Cutter wells have mostly seen drops in their water level over the past few decades. The Cutter #1 and #2 wells have dropped 39 feet, and the #4 well has dropped 97 feet. However, the #3 well has risen by 82 feet for unknown reasons. There is no data for the Cutter #5 well. All the wells are between about 500 and 700 feet deep.

Storage holds four days’ worth of water

Globe has total actual water storage of 4,351,000 gallons, and the tanks have a maximum capacity of 5,650,000 gallons. There are eight storage tanks in use: three Hagen tanks, two Crestline tanks, the Thomson tank, and two Cutter tanks. A ninth tank, Apache, is not in use and would need extensive rehab to be put back in operation. 

The largest tanks are two of the Hagen tanks at 1,500,000 gallons each. The third Hagen tank will hold 500,000 gallons, and the two Crestline tanks hold 1 million gallons each. The Thompson tank has 50,000 gallon capacity and the Cutter tanks are each 30,000 gallons. The unused Apache tank is 40,000 gallons.

Given the storage capacity and usage data for Globe, if the Cutter wells were to stop pumping water, the city’s water supplies would last four to five days.

Planning for the future

Barnes outlined the following areas where Globe could take action to enhance water security in the future:

  • Reduce water line leakage. Barnes said this is a high-ticket item but would save money in the long run. He recommended the City develop a long-range (50-year) CIP funding plan and seek grant money through WIFA and other sources.
  • Water conservation. Barnes recommended updating and expanding the City’s water policy and updating IBC codes to 2021. Current code is at 2003, and the significant difference is conservation, Barnes said. He emphasized conservation education so people will understand the importance of taking care of water resources. Public Works Director John Angulo highlighted the value of educating City staff so the City can set an example and serve as a source of information. Council briefly discussed possibilities for using water rates to encourage conservation. Globe already has a tiered rate system where households pay more for higher usage.

I think people once educated, both staff and the public, will make their own voluntary choices to take on water savings just because it makes sense. I don’t see us ever as that community that has these hard and fast restrictions and compliance. – Paul Jepson

  • Participate in regional discussions and then discuss the outcomes from the meetings to bring back to Council, as well as feedback from regional and local meetings that could suggest ways to conserve at low cost. Barnes also recommended Globe create a Water Smart self-assessment.

Operationally, Barnes said Globe is currently updating its rate studies, developing asset management, implementing a proactive water infrastructure maintenance program, undertaking a meter audit, and establishing a priority-based water line replacement program.

Needs for additional funding

Barnes said the City needs to spend money in the following areas:

  • A City-wide water line study to show where leaks are happening, where valves need work or to be moved, and to ensure all equipment is working optimally.
  • A hydrology study, including groundwater and aquifers, to find out how much water is in the aquifers.
  • An asset management study. The CIP already includes $120,000 for a study of water, wastewater, and public works, Barnes said, but the City needs to have budget item for annual upgrades in the asset management program.
  • A 50-year water resources plan. The City needs to plan in advance how to replace water lines over coming decades, Barnes said.

Linda Oddonetto, Globe’s Community and Economic Development Director pointed out that Globe participates in the Watershed Partnership Group and has developed a watershed action plan, both of which will help Globe secure grant funding in upcoming USDA opportunities areas such as sewer extension and water infrastructure. Barnes pointed out that the hydrology and water line studies will also help position Globe to compete for grant monies.

We’re moving past our reactive phase into our proactive phase as a city in many areas, and this is just one of those we need to do that with. Paul Jepson

City Manager Paul Jepson noted that this presentation is part of ongoing discussions of Globe’s water security. This topic will continue to come before Council with more information being provided over time. 

Motions approved

Council approved a resolution amending the designation of the FY2021 Chief Fiscal Officer from the former Finance Director to City Manger Paul Jepson to match the reporting signature of the FY2021 Annual Expenditure Limitation Report filed with the Auditor General. Shelly Salazar explained that this change was related to a resolution made on March 14, but it was found to be necessary to go back one further year to match the signatures on the audit report. 

Council voted to provide a letter to the Miami Arizona Downtown Economic Resurgence (MADER) organization to support housing and economic development for the Town of Miami. Oddonetto explained that Miami is applying for a technical assistance grant to support developing a housing plan. This project would benefit Globe by adding a layer to the City’s housing planning efforts. A letter from the Globe Council would add weight to Miami’s application.

To view this meeting online, visit here

To view documents related to this meeting, click here. 

Full minutes can be found by going to the City Hall website .

The Globe City Council meets every second and fourth Tuesday of the month at 6:00 p.m. at City Hall. The meetings are currently open to the public at 50% capacity. Members of the public are requested to wear a mask except when seated. Seating is limited to allow for social distancing.

Public members can also participate in City of Globe public meetings by viewing the meeting live on YouTube. To view the Council meeting live stream, go to the City of Globe’s YouTube channel (search for the City of Globe Arizona). 

To speak to agenda items before or during the meeting, call or text (928) 200-0154 or email council@globeaz.gov. If you desire to speak to the Council during an agenda item.

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