The Schultz fire of June 20, 2010, burned 15,075 acres of overgrown forest and destroyed a 1 to 3 foot layer of forest duff that had exceptional water-absorbing qualities. The monsoon storms during the summer of 2010 created severe runoff and powerful erosion effects on the mountainside, damaging the Inner Basin pipeline in a number of locations. The pipeline was severed in two sections and damaged to some degree along a 6-mile run to Weatherford Canyon. Various engineering firms and City staff worked closely with the Forest Service, FEMA, and Arizona Division of Emergency Management to repair the pipeline and complete this project in timely manner. High altitudes and rugged terrain shortened the construction season.
All of the agencies involved expressed support for preserving the pipeline, which conveys the City's most economical water. Without this source, it can cost $6,000 a day in the summer months to obtain water from other sources, such as wells. It also provides 15-20% of the daily demand during peak summertime use. The Inner Basin Pipeline Reconstruction and Realignment Project Booklet (PDF)(10MB PDF) discusses the history of the Inner Basin pipeline and water supply, the Schultz Fire, the reconstruction and relocation project, the role of the Cinder Lake Landfill in post-fire flood mitigation, and the geology and hydrology of the Inner Basin. It also contains before and after photographs and specific site details.