Thursday, October 29, 2020

2020-10-29 Otis Update, Echo Mt and Riverbend VOC Testing

At Echo Mt. Water System, we have fixed a number of leaks and have been able to successfully operate the well pump for nearly two weeks. Both remaining water reservoirs are currently full and all homes have water service. We are continuing to develop plans to rebuild a pump house at the primary well, which will increase security and reliability. 

VOC samples were collected at Echo Mt. Water System and Riverbend Water System in early October. Fortunately, the results of those samples showed no increased levels of VOC contaminants in the water. This indicates that the fire did not negatively impact distribution lines. Links to the sample results are provided below: 

Echo Mt Test Results

Riverbend Test Results

As a precaution, we are working with OHA to determine whether additional VOC testing would be appropriate, particularly at Echo Mt. Water System. Likewise, there are steps each resident can take to ensure the integrity and safety of each home's plumbing. The State of Oregon has provided a letter (linked below) that provides helpful information, including information about flushing, testing, and treating water. 

  • Customer Guidance Regarding Water Quality in Buildings Located in Areas Damaged by Wildfire
  • We are optimistic that outages will not continue to occur regularly at Echo Mt. Water System. If you experience an outage, please contact our office (503-554-8333) immediately so we can address the situation. Also, if you notice leaks, please report those to our office. Although water service has been restored, we are continuing to keep the boil water guidance in place for Echo Mt. Water System at this time.

    Thursday, October 15, 2020

    2020-10-15 Otis Update

    Echo Mt. Water System: Our well pump has suffered some sort of failure and continues to shut itself off. We have coordinated for a well pump specialist to come evaluate on Friday, October 16. It is our hope that he will be able to diagnose and repair it so that we can restore water service over the weekend. Thank you for your continued patience during this difficult time.

    Riverbend Water Systems: Lab results show that the water is safe to drink again so we are removing the boil water guidance.

    Tuesday, October 13, 2020

    2020-10-13 Otis Update

    Echo Mt. and Riverbend Water Systems: We received good news that there are not elevated levels of VOC's in either water system. We are removing the guidance to not drink or boil the water. The water is safe to boil. It is also safe to take hot showers and use for other household purposes. However, we recommend you only drink the water after it has been boiled (boil water notice). Although we have received some test results showing an absence of contaminants, both water systems have sustained damage to distribution lines that have resulted in loss of system pressure at various times since the fire. Consequently, we are continuing to take samples for testing and will remove the boil water notice when lab results indicate it is prudent to do so.

    Wednesday, October 7, 2020

    2020-10-07 Otis update

    Echo Mt. - We have continued to fix leaks that were caused by the fire and turn off water services at properties where homes were lost. We have verified that our lower reservoir is partially full and we have manually started the pump to boost water to the upper reservoir from the lower reservoir. We are hopeful that water service will soon be restored to the majority of the remaining homes as we continue to repair leaks as we find them. Thank you for your continued patience.

    Friday, October 2, 2020

    2020-10-02 Otis Update

    Echo Mt. Our primary well pump has been reconnected to Pacific Power and has been put back in service. It will take a while to re-pressurize the distribution water lines and fill the tanks, but we expect water service to be restored to remaining homes in the coming days. We will be following typical water sampling protocol to verify the absence of coliform and e-coli in the water. As an additional precaution, we will be testing for elevated VOC's in the water because of concerns related to impact on our PVC lines from the fire. Notices have been distributed Please be prepared to potentially not consume water for an extended period of time due to these concerns and the loss of our chlorination treatment due to the fire. 

    Riverbend - we are taking the same precaution to not drink or boil the water until we can verify there are not elevated VOC's in the water. Notices have been distributed. Thank you for your patience as we wait for VOC test results.

    Boulder/Bear Creek. We are not taking the same precautions regarding restrictions to the drinking water because no structures were lost in these areas due to fire.