The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

By Diana Zimmerman
Wah. Co. Eagle 

PUD discusses thermal imaging, cross connections


Shane Pfenniger, line crew foreman for the Wahkiakum PUD, took time out of his day on Tuesday to share with the PUD board of commissioners what he and his co-workers had learned during a recent visit from National Metering and Technical Services, LLC. The company audits meters and provides training in meter installment, repair and use.

Pfenniger was pleased with the training and new contact.

“It was really good,” Pfenniger said. “It eases your mind to find out we’re doing the right thing. We want to keep to industry standards.”

Pfenniger also attended a four day class in thermal imaging, to learn how to use the PUD’s new infrared camera. The tool has so many varied applications, he was excited and overwhelmed on the first day.

“It was all about the science of heat transfer,” he said. “You can see when a horse has an infection in its foot, or if a water valve has a leak.”

The camera will be limited to PUD use, and whether it can find water leaks out in the field is still up in the air. However, Pfenniger is hopeful.

Commissioner Dennis Reid shared a copy of an article in the Daily News regarding Cowlitz PUD’s changing response on how to address the marijuana industry.

PUD Counsel Tim Hanigan did not recommend a specific policy for Wahkiakum PUD at this time, but has sent a copy of amended language to terms and conditions to the commissioners for their perusal.

General Manager David Tramblie brought up the possibility of making a charging station available for electric vehicles to the community. He also alerted the commissioners to a letter that will be sent out to PUD water customers regarding cross connections.

The Washington State Department of Health is requiring the PUD to “develop and implement a Cross Connection Control Program”, per the letter. The ultimate goal is to provide safe drinking water by eliminating cross connections or installing backflow preventers.

Reid had been approached in the past few months by a couple customers who were concerned about paper waste and proposed that the PUD move to provide a paperless service for those that want it.

Auditor Erin Wilson was tasked with learning more about providing the service and brought the commissioners up to date on electronic bill notification. Interested parties can sign up to receive an email with a partial account number, statement date and balance. The email will also have a link to the website if the customer would like to view the entire bill or pay online. They can also continue to pay the way they have in the past.

I’d like to see us move forward on it,” said Commissioner Bob Jungers. The other two commissioners agreed.

General Manager Dave Tramblie suggested setting a policy for large loads in place, and the commissioners agreed to give it more thought.

Resolution 1178 declared a 2004 Chevrolet Colorado as a surplus vehicle. It will be offered at a public auction at Ritchie Brothers. The commissioners approved Resolution 1179, a policy regarding unpaid holidays for reasons of faith or conscience.

Commissioners also voted to move the August 5 meeting forward to July 29.

The next PUD meeting will be July 15 at 8:30 a.m. in the PUD meeting room.


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