City: Stay off waterline

By Kelly Ducote / The Observer July 12, 2013 10:08 am
City officials are asking visitors at Riverside Park to stay off the waterline running across the river as public works prepares to do maintenance on the line Monday.

The 8-inch main line is being under washed by the river because of rocks and boulders shifting in the stream bed.

Public Works Director Norm Paullus said crews will be working Monday to stabilize the line and to minimize the possibility of it breaking, but the work itself does pose a risk to the line.

“If that water line should break it would shut down all those uses out there,” Paullus said. The line provides water to Riverside Park and about a half dozen homes north of the Grande Ronde River.

City Water Superintendent Lee Mannor said a break would also release chlorinated water into the Grande Ronde River, which can be damaging to fish.

To minimize risk, Mannor has been chasing off children walking on the line. The concrete cap covering the line has been washed out underneath the line itself. This has created a vortex of water that is dangerous, even though it may not seem like there is much water, Mannor said.

“We would hope they’d stay off the line — especially young kids,” he said.

The cost for the maintenance should be relatively low and will come out of the city’s water maintenance fund, Mannor said. Since the city will be moving rocks in-stream, the only costs are for equipment and man hours. Mannor said they hope to finish within four or five hours.

“It would be nice if (people) stayed out of the swimming hole long enough for us to get done,” he said.

Paullus said the city has gotten special permission from Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Department of State Lands to conduct the work under the emergency circumstances.