By Brad Mosher
More than 200 customers of the Watseco Barview Water District are now getting cleaner water than they’ve had for many years.
A $1.8 million pipeline project has connected the customers with the City of Garibaldi water supply. It was necessary to create a pipeline or intertie for the water supply because of contamination found in the Watseco Barview system.
The water in the Watseco Barview District had been identified by federal tests as being contaminated by Total trihalomethanes, Total haloacetic acids and nitrate.
One contaminant exceeded the legal limit (trihalomethanes), while a second (haloacetic) was less than the legal limit but exceeded the health limit, according to federal tests. Trihalomethanes can be created by a chemical reaction when chlorine used to disinfect tap water that has natural organic matter in it.
The intertie enables the Watseco Barview District to provide clean water to its customers, but remaining sanitation and other services will remain with the Watseco Barview District. The pipeline is approximately 1.1 miles long and about eight inches in diameter and is following the rail line between the two communities.
The entire project was funded by the Oregon Infrastructure Authority. The city got a $980,000 grant and another $980,000 in a low-interest loan.
According to John O’Leary, the city manager for Garibaldi, the project was completed recently.
“It is all hooked up and right now we’re going through the last details and make sure everything is addressed,” he said Friday. “The project was on budget and a little over-scheduled, but not much. It was well within the parameters we had set for ourselves for getting it done.”
O’Leary praised the construction company, H.L. Mouck of Salem, for the work they had done building the intertie. “They have done fantastic work. They were very responsive, very responsible and competent in the work that they did. They were the main reason we were on budget, which was pretty impressive,” the city manager said.
The city is now providing its water to the Watseco-Barview customers, who live in the Barview area north to the southern edge of Rockaway Beach.
“Their system is significantly improved now,” O’Leary added.
The city has gone so far as to flush out the system to help remove any sediments and contamination.
The city used a new method to cleanse out the system called ice pigging. “That scoured out the sedimentations from the pipes and it made a huge difference in the quality of water.”
O’Leary admitted the pigging method used to clean the pipes sounded strange. “It kind of sounds absurd when you get right down to it,” he said, chuckling. In water systems, a “pig” is just a device you shove down a line to scour it out. There are different sorts of “pigging” the city manager said. “It is done in water systems all the time with things like foam blocks and other types of devices that will flush their way through a pipe and scour it out.”
Garibaldi found a newer, cleaner and more environmentally-sound method of pigging. “It is a patented process of literally pushing ice through a water main to get the same effect (scouring). It is still pretty new. It is actually a pretty ingenious system.
“With this system, they pretty much hook it up to a hydrant and shove the ice down into the main. There is no risk of foreign objects because the ice just melts,” O’Leary said.
“It has been a very good project and almost surprisingly on plan. There were not any hiccups once we got started. Right now, we are just finishing up,” the city manager said.
The water has been passing quality tests already. “We do routine testing at the end of the lines.
“We will be doing more testing for a couple of months just to be sure and verify. It usually takes a while for a water system to completely cycle out.”