Public comments sought on proposed utility improvements in Death Valley

A National Park Service employee carries a replacement pipe segment. NPS photo

Public comments sought on proposed utility improvements in Death Valley 

DEATH VALLEY, Calif. – Staff in Death Valley National Park are dealing with increasing numbers of water and wastewater system breaks. Water systems failed 45 times and there were five major sewer leaks last year. The National Park Service (NPS) has funding from the Great American Outdoors Act to rehabilitate the water and wastewater systems at Furnace Creek and Cow Creek in 2024. The NPS is seeking public feedback on this project proposal.

These water and wastewater systems serve 1.7 million visitors per year at Furnace Creek Visitor Center, Furnace Creek Campground, Sunset Campground, Texas Springs Campground, and The Oasis at Death Valley resort. The systems also serve about 800 residents in Timbisha Shoshone Village, The Oasis at Death Valley, and NPS housing.

The NPS proposes to rehabilitate the water and wastewater systems at Furnace Creek and Cow Creek, two of the largest utilities in Death Valley National Park. These systems have exceeded their lifespan in this extreme environment and will be rehabilitated and replaced.

The proposed improvements will enhance employee and visitor experiences by providing more reliable service. The NPS plans to add redundancy into the water systems so that potable water service can continue if there is a break in one section of water main. The systems will be designed to support anticipated future visitation levels and potential future facilities.

Modifications will protect natural resources by reducing sewage spills and reducing water loss via pipe seepage and breaks.

The systems will be upgraded to meet regulatory codes. Features will be added that will make work safety for NPS utility operators. NPS operations will benefit by reduced frequency of emergency repairs.

The public can review and comment on this proposal online at:

Comments can also be mailed to:

Death Valley National Park
Attn: FC and CC Project
P.O. Box 579
Death Valley, CA 92328

Comments will be accepted until June 16, 2023. The NPS will consider all feedback in preparation of an environmental assessment (EA), in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), to develop and evaluate alternatives. Once complete, there will be a second opportunity for public comment on the EA early next year.

(From Death Valley National Park)

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