Annie Lindgren | North Forty News
Wellington’s bulk Water Station, located at 4012 Grant Ave, allows residents to purchase potable water. Many rural residents do not have Well water or city water on their properties. These residents will fill water tanks at the Water station and haul them to their properties to provide water for their home, acreage, and animals.
In early December, the machine failed, sending these residents to Fort Collins, Cheyenne, or Loveland for their water. This wasn’t a first.
The Bulk Water Machine went down last on Jun 29, 2021, before being repaired and reopened on Jun 30. Wellington’s Public Works team expressed concern about the machine nearing the end of its usable life as maintenance became more frequently needed. This machine has been in service for many years. A request to replace the machine was included as a Capital Improvement Project (CIP) in the 2022 Budget, approved by the Board of Trustees on Nov 16, 2021.
The machine failed again on Dec 4, 2021, due to a broken pressure valve assembly, which opens to allow water to flow to the customer. The Town was quoted an 8-12 week lead time for delivery of this part. Very aware that rural residents depend on this water source, the Town immediately began looking for ways to make the repair happen more quickly.
The Public Works team creatively developed a plan to build the part themselves and source the needed components. The necessary parts arrived on Dec 16. The project required some machine shop work, and once complete, Town staff built and installed the pressure valve assembly. A Wellington business, 3 J Inc, helped save the day with a special tool needed to build the part. On Dec 17, the Town announced the repair had worked, and the machine was back in service.
“Thanks to the creative thinking of our Public Works team, we were able to reduce the repair time from what we were quoted (8-12 weeks) for the needed part to 2 weeks. How did they do that?! Instead of waiting for the pressure value to be delivered, the team sourced components of the pressure valve and built the part in-house,” shared the Town of Wellington on social media on Dec 17. The before and after photos looked like a true MacGyver fix, and it worked.
“We are very grateful for 3 J Inc’s support – they moved the project to the ‘front of the line’ to make sure it was done quickly. GO team!,” adds Mahalia Henschel, the Town’s Communication Specialist.
The Board of Trustees and staff understand how valuable this service is to the community and worked hard to restore access as quickly as possible. They posted updates on social media and the town website and answered questions from frustrated residents.
Those impacted hope the fix continues as the Town works on a more permanent solution. The closest water station is at the Utilities Service Center in Fort Collins, 700 Wood St, where water is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Cheyenne’s water station is at W. 24th Street and Dillon Ave., where the cost is $7.60 for 1,000 gallons of water. Both require a longer drive and planning, which takes time and money.
The Wellington Bulk water station is open Mondays through Fridays from 7:30 am to 7:30 pm, Saturdays from 7:30 am to 5:30 pm, and Sundays from 7:30 am to 12:30 pm. Commercial or construction use is prohibited. The cost is $15.20 per 1,000 gallons.