Two new propane tanks were installed at the borrow pit on Sherwin Creek Road to ensure Mammoth never runs out of the important fuel. (Photo: Kirkner)
Tuesday morning two Turner Propane tanks were delivered to the new tank farm at the borrow pit on Sherwin Creek Road. The 30,000 gallon tanks were delivered empty, but once filled and tied into the propane line system, will double the amount of available propane in Mammoth Lakes.
Previously there have been two of the 30,000 gallon tanks supplying the town, one owned by Turner and the other owned by AmeriGas. A potential propane problem arises in winter when US 395 is often so snowy that it is shut down. If the road gets shut down neither Turner or AmeriGas can deliver extra propane. If a road closure were to happen during a busy holiday weekend when the town’s capacity is maxed out, Mammoth could potentially run out of propane.
Turner Propane has been working for four years to gather the permits and approvals needed to install the two new tanks. They received approval last winter and broke ground this summer for the tank installation.
According to Bob Spaniel, the Regional Manager for Turner who made the trip from Gardnerville to watch the tanks be installed, the tanks will be connected to lines running out to Minaret Boulevard and along Old Mammoth Road. Six inch lines will take propane to these two different areas of town. A T-line was also installed when crews were laying the line. The T will be used in the future to tie the lines into new hotels and condo complexes, such as Snowcreek VIII.
Turner and the Town of Mammoth Lakes have also agreed to pave the dirt section of Sherwin Creek Road to the turnoff for the tank farm, and the Town has agreed to maintain and plow that road in the winter to ensure that propane trucks will be able to reach the tanks to refill them.
While only two new tanks were installed on Tuesday, there is room for an additional two if needed in the future.