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City of Hopkinton

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Electric Department


        Our electric department consists of a power plant, a sub-station and distribution system. 



        The power plant was built about 1939 and now houses 2 generating units that are used for stand-by generation only.  The original 200 KW generators were replaced with 3 Fairbanks-Morse internal combustion diesel engines - a 1636 KW, a 1250 KW and a 1711 KW unit - making our  



 plant capacity 4 MW.  In 2011, the 1250 KW and the 1711 KW generators were removed and replaced by one Caterpillar 2500 KW genset.  The change was prompted by new NESHAP-RICE regulations concerning air emissions.  We were required to upgrade the current generators or replace them with a genset that would pass the new guidelines.  We chose to install a new genset at a cost of approximately $750,000.




      The switchgear installed in the power plant has been updated several times over the years and includes automatic shut down controls designed to protect the engines from serious damage. 




            When the last Fairbanks-Morse engine was installed, cooling towers were added to replace the old radiator system that was in constant need of repair. 




            After considerable planning and delays, our distribution system was upgraded in 1993 from a 2400 to a 4160y system.  In 1999, the utility purchased the substation that was serving our city from Alliant Energy.  In 2012, plans are in the works to upgrade the substation with a dual voltage transformer.  ITC plans to upgrade the electric line coming into Hopkinton in 2013 to 69,000 volts from the current 34,500 line.   




            Our equipment includes a 2015 Chevrolet 4 X 4 pickup, a 1994 GMC bucket truck with Tel-Elect equipment with a 37' working height single bucket, a 1988 Ford digger derrick, a 1992 Ford with Lift-All equipment with a 55' working height 2 man bucket, a trencher and a Vermeer wood chipper that is shared with the city. 



Water Department


         After the disastrous fires in 1900, fire protection became a major concern for the citizens  of Hopkinton.  Our city is now being served by two deep wells supplying a 150,000 gallon tower. 

         A $400,000 HUD grant made it possible to install a new 8" water main around the perimeter of the city, erect a new 145' tower and  drill a new well.  Well #4 was drilled in the city's Memorial Park to a depth of 1180'.  These water projects were completed in 1984.




            Well #1 was a very shallow well that was abandoned many years ago. The pump house for well #1 will be removed in 2012 to make room for the new substation transformer and equipment.  Well #2 has been disconnected from our system but is still used for fire protection.  Our grade 1 system pumps from





wells 3 and 4 on a rotating basis to insure that we have a working back-up system if it would ever become necessary.

         Our only treatment of the water is by chlorination.  Several years ago, a gas chlorine leak, that evacuated some of the neighbors near the tower, prompted the Board to install a liquid dispensing system.

         Over the years, loss of industry and conservation efforts has decreased the amount of water pumped each month.  A circulation pump was installed in the tower to prevent winter freeze-ups. 

         In 2012, a submersible pump was installed at the tower well to assist with pumping.  When the well was drilled, the static water level was 240 feet.  In 2008, that level had dropped to 311 feet.  Since that time, it has dropped another 14 feet.  When work was done a couple years ago, it was noted that we may want to consider contructing a new well.  As the state controls the water supply in Iowa, it has the power to set limits on how much water can be used by permit holders.  Even if a new well is constructed at an estimated cost of $300,000+, it would not guarantee that we could pump as much water as we wanted.

         Maintaining a safe, plentiful water supply will continue to be our goal for the city of Hopkinton.





         Several pictures were taken from the top of the tower and have been included on this page.