Design work on the city's new pressurized water system is two-thirds completed, and construction should begin in May if funding agencies approve those plans.

The $4.7 million project, which will take one year to complete, will provide residents with a new culinary water system while allowing the present culinary system to be converted to irrigation and supplemental water uses.Population increases and distribution problems were the main reasons for developing a new city water system.

"There is not a community in Utah County that is as prepared for growth as Lehi City now," said Gary Lewis, city recorder. "We have the finest sewer system, we have our own city power facility and we will have undoubtedly the finest water system in the county, if not the state. I don't know when it will pay dividends, but I hope it will be soon."

Lehi was the first city in the state to receive funds from all three water agencies in the state: the Safe Drinking Water Committee, the Community Impact Board and the Division of Water Resources. The grant from the Community Impact Board is the first ever given to a city in Utah County.

A grace period for irrigation shareholders to join the new pressurized system ended Feb. 27. Lewis said 78 percent of city irrigation shareholders signed up to join the new system. Joining the system did not require shareholders to give up their irrigation shares; rather, they will be charged less for being on the system.

Irrigation shareholders wishing to join the new water system in the future, however, will have to pay a connection fee, Lewis said.