Ash Canyon Creek flows affect Quill treatment
Carson City’s wet winter could be too much of a good thing — at least when it comes to Ash Canyon Creek.
Normally by this time of year, water from the creek enters the Carson City water system through the Quill Water Treatment Plant, where it’s processed into drinking water.
But due to intense spring runoff the creek water is currently too turbid to process, said Ted Jost, water production operator at the plant.
Turbidity, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, is the relative clarity of a liquid, which is affected by the presence of materials such as clay and silt — materials churned up in rapidly flowing water.
Jost said the plant may be able to take in water from the creek later this summer.
In the meantime, Quill can take full advantage of the water rushing in from Kings Canyon Creek.
“We’re a lot closer to the source so there is less turbidity,” said Jost.
Quill treats surface water from the two creeks and the Marlette Lake-Hobart Reservoir system, processing roughly 2.6 million gallons daily.
The water enters the plant where it’s cleaned through a filtering process using screens and diatomaceous earth mined in Lovelock.
The only pump in the system is at Marlette Lake. Most of the time the water flows downhill, into and out of Quill, which is located off Kings Canyon Road.
“From here we can gravity feed it anywhere in the city,” said Brandon Mathiesen, water production supervisor.
Mathiesen and Jost spoke Wednesday to the Carson Water Subconservancy District’s annual bus tour of the Carson River watershed.
Quill started the day’s tour, which continued onto Borda Ranch in Dayton, Stillwater National Wildlife Refuge, and Lahontan Dam, after spending Tuesday in Hope Valley, the Dangberg Ranch, and the Nature Conservancy’s River Fork Ranch in Genoa.
“I work at the headwater in Alpine Valley and I wanted to learn more about the rest of the system,” said Aly Cheney, Alpine Watershed Group, who was one of 48 people on the tour.
Tina Schmidt, with the Stagecoach General Improvement District, closer to the other end of the river system, was on the tour, too.
“I took it last year and learned a lot and I’ve learned a lot this year,” she said. “I’m here with one of our board members and this makes her more effective for our board and for our community.”