Redway Water Board: Working to Resolve Capacity Crisis and Much More
Redway Community Services District (RCSD) continues to resolve its capacity crisis. Four years ago a local couple applied to have a brewery in the Evergreen Business Park which the RCSD serves. After a year of frustrations, the application was denied and the brewery is currently under construction in Shelter Cove. Meanwhile, the RCSD is now beginning to create a funding plan and is revising their New Connection Policy so applicants can get needed building permits while they wait for capacity improvements.
A capacity study completed in 2014, shows the District water treatment and wastewater treatment plants are very close to the limit of their production capacities.
The capacity study also shows a potential for problems with the water source because the river, a dynamic entity, can move away from the district’s infiltration gallery.
Funding for Infrastructure
Three years later, General Manager John Rogers says the district will be meeting with RCAC representative who is assisting “the RCSD with applications to the Clean Water State Revolving Fund and Proposition 1 sources for funding. These proposals will fund planning for both the water and wastewater Utility Improvement Projects.” Rogers also says that the capacity issues should be addressed within 2-4 years if everything goes smoothly.
New Connection Policy
In the meantime, the District has been revising policy for applicants for New Connections so applicants can move projects forward as far as possible. County Planning requires “will serve” letters for utility services before it issues building permits. Meanwhile, the RCSD has been asking its applicants for approved building permits before they issue their will-serve letters. General Manager John Rogers reported to the Board this is a conundrum for project developers that he has been working with District’s legal counsel to resolve. The solution will be an “intent to serve” letter that is crafted with similar caveats to the District’s “will serve” letter.
The Operator’s Report gives the meat and potatoes of water delivery and wastewater treatment. The District’s campaign to find and repair leaks has paid dividends in the cost of treating of nearly a million of gallons of water a month that is no longer lost. Leaks still happen, but the record shows savings in September 2017 of 94% over September 2015.
The wastewater treatment plant continues to come into compliance with its newest licensing requirements. Cox reports new components are installed so that the treatment plant is now more fully automated. This also saves personnel overtime hours he says.
The District’s campaign to have all restaurants install grease traps has one business remaining before they have all been completed. Prior to the campaign, only one restaurant in Redway had the requisite grease trap.
Shut Off Notices
The District has revised its procedures for 48-hour notices on delinquent bills. Cody says this is “working out good.” He distributed 20 shut-off notices last month. Eight households had to have water service discontinued. Five of those were paid and had service resumed. Three remained off by the day of the meeting.
Dogwood Lane Culvert
A culvert on Dogwood Lane needs preventative maintenance from the RCSD. The District’s force main that pumps sewage across the river for treatment would be threatened if the culvert were to fail. The District is working with a contractor to determine if putting an insert inside the culvert (sleeving it) would be their best option.
New Fire Hydrants Coming
On the brighter side, Operator Cody Cox has found a supply of surplus Mueller fire hydrants at a bargain price. The District will pay 20% of retail price for 4 wet-barrel fire hydrants that have never been used saving the District nearly $7,000. According to Cox, these type of hydrants are easy to install, will bolt onto the district’s existing fittings, and are less likely to fail from pressure changes when being used. Wet barrel hydrants are prone to failure in regions with serious freezing, but they should survive our moderate winters.
Meter Every Unit
The District wants all landowners using RCSD services to have separate meters for every unit on a property. Staff is looking at satellite imagery to determine where to focus enforcement as a letter is prepared by the Board for all customers of the district.
And the Board is entering a strategic plan to look at clearly articulating the district’s objectives. General Manager John Rogers described it as “what we are trying to do and why we are doing it.”
And at the November Board Meeting, November 15th, the Board will review its upcoming rate increase and have a first reading and vote on the ordinance.