SEAL ROCK — With $15.3 million of source water improvement money coming the way of the Seal Rock Water District, SWRD officials are hard at work making plans for how that money will be used to develop a resilient water system.
The money, General Manager Adam Denlinger said, will build a new treatment facility and a water intake facility.
“We’re hoping to advertise the property this fall,” said Denglinger of the planned Beaver Creek intake station. “Construction will begin sometime this year or in early 2020.”
The Seal Rock Water District, which gets its water from the Toledo, is using two grants in particular to further develop water infrastructure in the district. One, the U.S. Department of Agriculture rural development grant, totals $11.8 million, although about $9 million of that sum is specified as a loan in an SRWD statement. The other grant, a Business Oregon infrastructure finance authority grant, is $3.4 million. Approximately $2.4 million of that is a loan as well.
Water district staff said bringing in resources from outside the area and developing a source water supply system is critical, as building a resilient water supply system along the coast is important in continuing to bring water to SRWD customers.
“Seismic conditions are a huge challenge,” Denglinger said of the challenges the district faces. “It’s taken five years to develop a project that considers how a system can withstand massive environment conditions.”
Placing a water intake facility and a water treatment plant inside the tsunami inundation zone is part of the challenge, Denglinger added, as well as building both facilities to today’s seismic construction standards.
“We want it to withstand a mega earthquake,” Denglinger said. “If there’s damage to the pipeline, we want to be able to recover from that.”
The Seal Rock Water District isn’t the only water agency to move forward with plans to update or replace its water infrastructure. In Newport, replacement of the Big Creek Dams is top of the list when it comes to developing a seismically-resistant water system for Newport and the surrounding area. A $4 million grant from the state allotted to the city of Newport from HB 5050 will go toward rebuilding the Big Creek Dams, which currently are not seismically sustainable.