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Water Relief For Upper Fairview – Restrictions Reduced to Stage 3
The PUD has successfully taken proactive measures to address the water shortage issues of the upper Fairview Water District. Because of these measures, PUD Commissioners unanimously voted in favor of moving customers in this District from the Stage 4 Water Shortage Alert to a Stage 3 Water Shortage Alert.
Will Purser, President of the PUD Commission, says, “This has been a challenging summer for water supply in the state of Washington and our customers in the Upper Fairview area have been especially impacted. We were able to work with the various state agencies to develop a plan to address their needs as well as the needs of our customers.”
While a Stage 3 Water Alert is not ideal for customers, it is a significant improvement from the Stage 4 Water Restrictions mandated by the State Department of Ecology that they have been under since June 10th. The key aspects of a Stage 3 Water Alert Restrictions for customers include:
- Customers will be expected to comply with alternating days for outdoor watering. Even numbered addresses water only on even numbered days, odd numbered addresses water only on odd numbered days, and all customers minimize watering use. Minimizing total use will be emphasized.
- Vehicle washing will be prohibited except for safety related purposes.
PUD customers in the upper Fairview Water District are being impacted by low stream flows caused by the lack of snowpack. This part of the water district is located between O’Brien and Deer Park Roads, and uphill from about where the BPA transmission lines cross these roads to Township Line Road. Their source of water is Morse Creek.
Mike Kitz, PUD Water Superintendent, says that the proactive solution to the water shortage was to utilize two of the new and very productive PUD wells and pump water up the hill and into Morse Creek. “This was a solution that the Department of Ecology, Department of Health, and Department of Fish and Wildlife agreed to if we could make it work,” says Kitz. “We have a great team here at the PUD, and with the support of the Commissioners we were successful with this solution.”
There are many ways PUD customers can work to conserve water. Many of these tips were shared in the quarterly PUD HotLine Newsletters. These tips can also be found by clicking here.
Recognizing the potential for drought related issues, the PUD also began water conservation measures on all of its properties in March of this year. Doug Nass, PUD General Manager, says, “It’s important for everyone to conserve water during these times of drought so we too are taking action.” The PUD is working to conserve water by cutting back on the watering of its lawns and other greenery, and reducing vehicle washing.
These water conservation measures and concern about the drought are not unique to the PUD. In March, Governor Inslee declared a drought emergency for the North Olympic Region due to the lack of snowpack. Read the Governor’s statement here: http://www.governor.wa.gov/news-media/governor-inslee-declares-drought-three-washington-regions
The Status of Other PUD Water Systems:
Lower Fairview, Evergreen and Carlsborg Water Districts depend on groundwater. Groundwater levels are currently high, which is normal for this time of year. It is uncertain whether the groundwater levels will drop below normal levels this summer and fall which can impact other creek and river streamflows. This ground-surface water interaction will be watched closely this year. The outcome could be that the District issues outdoor water restrictions in all of our other water districts. We have to wait and see about taking these measures.
Gales Addition, Monroe and Mt. Angeles Water Districts depend on purchased water supplied by the City of Port Angeles. We share their water source, which is the Elwha River. This area is currently under a Stage II Water Shortage Alert.
The west-county water districts (Clallam Bay-Sekiu and Island View) do not depend on snowpack and may not experience drought-related problems.