City hosting public meetings regarding water rate increase

By Observer staff November 08, 2013 08:49 am

The Enterprise City Council is hosting public meetings Wednesday to clarify its plan to improve the city’s water system.

The city council said it is being mandated by the State of Oregon’s Health Authority to bring its water system into compliance with existing regulations. The council chose to secure a federal loan for the $5.7 million project.

According to the city council, Enterprise was required by state law to complete a Water System Master Plan, which was prepared by the city’s engineer. The analysis of water system pressures and flows showed that there are major deficiencies in the system. These deficiencies include violation of state law, which requires a minimum of 20 pounds pressure at every service at all times.

Currently, there are approximately 15 residences on the east hill where pressures are lower than the state requirement; inadequate number of fire hydrants with residences too far from a hydrant; inadequate water flows for fire protection at numerous areas in the city; under-pressured water lines; small and inadequate distribution lines; dead end lines; cracks and crumbling concrete in the underground reservoir; and inadequate water storage.

The study said the current water reservoir has insufficient storage capacity for emergency fire flow purposes.

The council said the chosen alternative addresses all of the deficiencies in the water system identified in the Water System Master Plan while providing the best value for the community. This alternative includes the creation of three pressure zones to more evenly distribute pressure across both lower and higher elevation connections. Additionally, new lines will be installed to create looping, which results in the removal of dead-end lines, and replacing undersized and old lines.

The existing reservoir will also be rehabilitated and the existing well will be improved for full-time use. A new reservoir will also be built to increase storage capacity.

The City of Enterprise evaluated a variety of financing options for each alternative. The city council chose the package that results in the second lowest impact to rates of water customers, while providing the most cost effective and reliable improvement with the most enduring benefit.