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

PUD addresses water system leaks


December 20, 2018

Wahkiakum County PUD commissioners heard from visitors Mike Johnson of Gray and Osborne and Bill Fashing of the Cowlitz-Wahkiakum Council of Governments on Tuesday morning.

Johnson, an engineer, was in attendance for a public hearing to go over the Western Wahkiakum Water System Comprehensive Plan that his company had prepared for the PUD.

The plan will be submitted to the Department of Health after being reviewed by the PUD.

“It is a pretty geographically spread out system,” Johnson said, before listing the system’s assets and going over projected population.

“The largest deficiency is that you have had distribution system leakage that exceeds the 10 percent threshold that the DOH has indicated as a benchmark for public water systems,” he said.

Johnson praised the PUD and the water crew for making progress in reducing leakage, noting that distribution system leakage had decreased from 28 percent to 25 percent in the last three years. More markedly, it had been 37 percent in 2010.

“It’s impressive,” he added. “You guys are doing a great job making progress on it.”

Johnson also went over revised PUD goals to reduce water production per capita by 10 percent in the next 10 years and the distribution system leakage by three percent each year. He suggested a two percent annual rate increase in order to complete capital projects and cover growing expenses.

Fashing, who has been working with Commissioner Gene Healy on a project to bring broadband to Wahkiakum County, was there to give an overview of the work being done by CWCOG and invite the PUD to join them.

“I’ve used COG a lot in the last six months,” Healy said. “I guess I didn’t realize we weren’t members. I was asking for a lot of favors and they were more than willing to do that, but it seemed to me we ought to consider being part of that organization.”

Commissioners will likely take action on the matter at the next meeting.

In other business, commissioners approved the write off of several accounts that were at least 10 years old.

“They are forever due and payable and must be paid in full to reactivate service,” Auditor Erin Wilson said. “We’re just taking them off their active accounts receivable.”


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