Hillsboro

Hillsboro Willamette Water Supply System Map And Pipeline Route Updates

This map update reflects changes to the Scholls Area Pipeline Project north section (PLM_5.3).

Hillsboro Water Department has planned years in advance to ensure there is plentiful drinking water today, tomorrow, and in the future for the community.

While Hillsboro’s sole water supply source is the upper-Tualatin River, projections show by 2026 that Hillsboro’s water needs will significantly increase.

To meet future drinking water demand, the City of Hillsboro, Tualatin Valley Water District, and City of Beaverton are partnering to develop the mid-Willamette River at Wilsonville as an additional water supply source.

Design and construction of the new Willamette Water Supply System (WWSS) is underway, and includes building:

  • A modified water intake on the Willamette River at Wilsonville.
  • A state-of-the-art water filtration facility near Tualatin/Sherwood.
  • Water supply tanks in Beaverton.
  • More than 30 miles of large diameter transmission water pipeline traveling north from Wilsonville, through Beaverton, and into Hillsboro.

The system is designed to withstand the impacts of a large earthquake or other natural disaster, and will be built to modern seismic standards to help restore service quickly after a catastrophic event.

Recently, the WWSS system map was updated to show the latest pipeline route and better reflect the timelines for each project. Specifically, the map shows two areas where the preferred pipeline alignment has been refined through design:

  • This map update reflects changes to the Scholls Area Pipeline Project north section (PLM_5.3). Analysis of the preliminary design alignment along Clark Hill and Farmington roads identified significant seismic risks. The updated alignment was selected after several alternative alignments were analyzed for seismic stability, environmental and community impacts, construction feasibility, and opportunities to partner or coordinate with Washington County.
  • This map update also reflects changes to the previous alignment for the Beaverton Area Pipeline Project (PLE_1.0). This alignment was revised and renamed to the Metzger Pipeline East Project (MPE_1.0), after studies concluded the Metzger alignment provides cost efficiency and reduces construction and environmental impacts compared to the original route.

No changes were made to the alignment through Hillsboro, which includes approximately six miles of pipe along the current and future Cornelius Pass Road from the Sunset Highway on the north to Rosedale Road on the south.

The latest map and schedule – updated regularly – can be located online.

Officials boost plan to draw water from Willamette River

A $1.3 billion regional project scheduled for completion in 2026 will supply more for Hillsboro, be a backup source for Beaverton and enable the Tualatin Valley Water District to end purchases from Portland.

When the largest public works project in Washington County is completed seven years from now, it will draw millions of gallons from the Willamette River and deliver the water to Hillsboro, the Tualatin Valley Water District and Beaverton.

For Hillsboro, the Willamette Water Supply Program will mean more water for a growing city — development in South Hillsboro will add 20,000 more residents over 20 years — and for the expansion of Intel and other businesses.

For the Tualatin Valley Water District, whose customers live in unincorporated communities between Hillsboro and Beaverton, the program means a replacement source for water it now buys from Portland under agreements scheduled to end in 2026.

For Beaverton, the program means a new supplemental source of water that is less likely to be disrupted than its current deliveries from Hagg Lake if there is a severe earthquake off the Oregon coast.

Washington County itself forecasts 200,000 more people — the county’s current estimated tops 600,000 — by 2040.

The program manager and officials from the district, Beaverton and Hillsboro spoke about the project at a recent Washington County Public Affairs Forum.

In its simplest form, the project will require a new intake on the Willamette near Wilsonville and a 66-inch pipe for the water to reach a new treatment plant near Sherwood. (Wilsonville and Sherwood already draw water from the Willamette.)

More pipes will carry the water to two reservoirs, each 15 million gallons, on Cooper Mountain — and pipes will bring water to municipal systems in Beaverton, the district and Hillsboro.

Federal boost

Federal loans to the district and Hillsboro, announced by the Environmental Protection Agency earlier this year, will amount to $640 million of the overall $1.3 billion project. Their water customers will repay those loans starting in 2026, once the project is completed.

“A lower cost will mean a lower impact on rates, and we will have excellent water quality from this supply,” said Dave Kraska, the program manager.

District customers will save $135 million, and Hillsboro customers $125 million over the 35-year duration of loans, said Tom Hickmann, TVWD chief executive officer since July. For his customers, he said, the savings will be about $20 on a monthly bill.

“But water rates are going up for us to afford the new infrastructure,” said Hickmann, formerly city engineer in Bend.

Beaverton, which officially joined the program in July, will not be liable for loan repayments. But city water customers will pay for their shares of the new source through higher water bills. The same applies to other cities that may join the program in the future.

No public election was required because no property taxes are being levied for the program.

Kraska said Hillsboro and the district conducted their own studies about where to get future water supplies, but drew the same conclusion that drawing from the Willamette would be the cheaper of several alternatives.

Others were increased capacity of Hagg Lake through a strengthened or relocated Scoggins Dam — the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation is scheduled to recommend a preferred alternative early next year for seismic safety — development of groundwater sources near Sauvie Island, or purchases of water from Portland’s Bull Run watershed.

Once Hillsboro and TVWD agreed, Kraska said the joint program was formed.

Regional benefits

Beaverton Mayor Denny Doyle said his city would draw up to 5 million gallons daily through the project once it is completed in 2026. (The regional intake is estimated at 60 million gallons daily.)

“i think this is a great example of what we can do when we work together. It forces us to the table to talk about regional issues and the ways we solve problems,” Doyle said.

“More water from different sources enhances our ability to respond to changing conditions.”

Doyle said he estimates city participation in the regional program will ultimately cost between $50 million and $55 million, payable by water customers.

The federal loans to TVWD and Hillsboro came under a program sponsored in 2014 by U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., and included in a law signed in December 2016. Merkley said he did so at the request of Oregon local governments that could not find low-interest loans for water projects.

“This law has been a big positive change in that direction,” TVWD’s Hickman said. “These kinds of investments in infrastructure create jobs today … and for tomorrow.”

Niki Iverson, Hillsboro water manager, said the $1.3 billion project is split up so that contractors from Oregon and Washington will have the ability to bid.

“This enables our local contractors to be able to bid on projects and be competitive,” she said. “We wanted to avoid a situation where large national firms were going to come in and construct the entire project.”

So far, Iverson said, 96% of the $118 million spent to date has gone to local construction labor and materials.

Some pipe work already has been done in connection with road projects: Kinsman Road in Wilsonville; 124th Avenue between Tualatin and Sherwood, by Washington County, and South Hillsboro south of Tualatin Valley Hillsboro near Cornelius Pass Road.

“As much as we could, we scheduled much of our work to align with these other projects to save costs and reduce public impacts,” Kraska said.

But the program involves more than 30 miles of new pipes, so Kraska said there will be traffic delays when that work proceeds.

Before any of the new water from the Willamette is delivered, experts will have to test the mix. Kraska said water quality integration is necessary when water is mixed from several sources.

“We are evaluating the impact of bringing in these new supplies into the existing system and making sure we are properly prepared,” he said.

Read Beaverton Valley Times story here.

Our Opinion: Get ready, because there’s construction ahead

Work on Tualatin-Sherwood Road is sure to be a nuisance. But the payoff will last longer.

And as work continues to build a massive new pipeline system from the Willamette River in Wilsonville up to the communities of Hillsboro, Aloha, Beaverton and Tigard, sections of roadway are being dug up so pipe can be laid in the ground. (On the plus side, that water supply work is providing some of the impetus for the county to finally get to rebuilding Tualatin-Sherwood and Roy Rogers roads through Sherwood.)

Continue reading in the Sherwood Gazette

Willamette River water project gains federal Aid

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is awarding two sizable loans that will be used to help pay for $1.3 billion in Willamette Water Supply System improvements.

One loan for $388 million is being awarded to the Tualatin Valley Water District, and the other for $251 million is going to the city of Hillsboro. The money will go toward construction of intake facilities, over 30 miles of pipeline, a water treatment plant and two storage reservoirs.

The program calls for the expansion of the existing municipal raw water intake facility on the Willamette River in Wilsonville, along with construction of a new water treatment plant in Sherwood. The former will be built between 2020 and 2024, while the latter is scheduled to be built between 2022 and 2025.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Oregon Department of State Lands also have approved the project’s environmental permits, while land use permitting is in progress for various elements.

“The benefits significantly reduce the rate impacts to our customers,” Tualatin Valley Water District CEO Tom Hickmann stated in a press release, “while simultaneously helping provide an additional water supply that results in protecting public health with a reliable drinking water source and fueling the economy with jobs now and in the future.”

The EPA has estimated the two WIFIA loans will save the water district an estimated $138.4 million and the city of
Hillsboro an estimated $125.2 million when compared with typical bond financing terms.

Continue reading the article at the DJCOregon

Public invited to learn more about Cornelius Pass Road widening

Southeast Cornelius Pass Road in Hillsboro is set to be widened in the early to mid-2020s.

While the construction project won’t break ground for about three more years, the Washington County Department of Land Use & Transportation is getting a head start on its public outreach. It has scheduled an open house for the widening project on Tuesday, Sept. 10.

Members of the public are invited to drop by to ask questions of the project team and provide input from 5 to 7 p.m. Sept. 10 at R.A. Brown Middle School, located at 1505 S.E. Cornelius Pass Road.

Construction is expected to take place from 2022 to 2024. Concurrently, a 48-inch pipeline for drinking water will be laid down beneath the roadway as part of the Willamette Water Supply Program, which is building a network of water pipelines and other infrastructure to channel drinking water from the Willamette to water customers in Hillsboro and the Tualatin Valley Water District, which covers most of Aloha and Beaverton and part of Tigard.

ontinue reading the article at Hillsboro News Times

EPA Clears $640M in WIFIA Loans for $1.3B Oregon Water Project

The Environmental Protection Agency has approved two new loans, totaling $640 million, for a major water-supply infrastructure program in western Oregon.

The loan approvals, announced on Aug. 19, are part of EPA’s Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act, or WIFIA, program and will help finance the $1.3-billion, multi-year Willamette Water Supply System program.

A $388-million loan is going to the Tualatin Valley Water District and a $251-million loan to the city of Hillsboro, Ore., which have teamed up on the project. Andrea Watson, spokesperson for the water district, said its loan closed on Aug. 2 and the Hillsboro loan closed on Aug. 16.

EPA’s action represents the first time that it has approved more than one WIFIA loan for a project.

The city of Beaverton, Ore., on July 1 joined the water district and Hillsboro as another partner in the project but it isn’t involved in the loans.

Continue reading the article at ENR

$640M federal loan awarded for Willamette Water project

Money to Tualatin Valley Water District and Hillsboro accounts for about half of the $1.2B price tag.

A federal loan of $640 million will enable the Tualatin Valley Water District and several Washington County cities to draw water from the Willamette River.

The announcement this week by the Environmental Protect Agency will allow the Willamette Water Supply Project to proceed with a $1.2 billion project that will deliver water by 2026.

Continue reading article at BeavertonValleyTimes

New head of Joint Water Commission hired

Longtime city employee Niki Iverson will take over JWC as well as Hillsboro Water Department.

HillsboroTribune Geoff Pursinger Tuesday, July 16, 2019

The city of Hillsboro has hired a new head to the regional joint water agency responsible for providing water to a large swath of Washington County.

Niki Iverson has been named the city’s new water department director, and will take over as general manager of the Joint Water Commission.

The Joint Water Commission provides water to more than 375,000 people in Hillsboro, Forest Grove, Beaverton and the Tualatin Valley Water District, which serves parts of Hillsboro and Beaverton. The JWC operates the largest water treatment plant in Oregon.

Iverson is no stranger to Hillsboro. As the city’s water resources manager for the past 12 years, Iverson was oversaw water quality monitoring, reporting, watershed management and water rights.

Iverson replaces longtime water director Kevin Hanway, who retired last month after 14 years as the head of the JWC.

“Niki is the most effective manager I know,” Hanway said. “She is recognized statewide for her expertise in the water field and in infrastructure finance. Our partners know Niki and trust her judgment, and Water Department staff are excited for the continued progress that her leadership will bring.”

Iverson takes over at an important time. The cities of Hillsboro, Beaverton and Tualatin Valley Water District are working on the massive Willamette Water Supply Program, which will pump water from Wilsonville to Washington County by 2026. Construction on the project is currently underway.

“Niki is highly regarded and respected in the regional water community, and has the necessary skills and work ethic to lead the Hillsboro Water Department and JWC well into the future,” Interim City Manager Robby Hammond said. “Hillsboro has a long-standing reputation of forward thinking and strategic planning, and Niki is well prepared to continue that tradition.”

Iverson starts work June 28.

Read article

Plans on track for Hillsboro’s new water source

Hillsboro Tribune, Olivia Singer Tuesday, February 19, 2019

There are seven years left in the development of the Willamette Water Supply Program.

Roughly halfway through a massive $1.2 billion project creating an additional water source for cities across Washington County, including Hillsboro, officials say it’s still on track to go live in 2026, and the next few years will see lots of construction in the region.

COURTESY PHOTO - A map and schedule of planned projects within the new water system development.

COURTESY PHOTO – A map and schedule of planned projects within the new water system development.

Since 2012, the Tualatin Valley Water District and the city of Hillsboro have been partnering to build the Willamette Water Supply System, which will draw in water from the Willamette River near Wilsonville through a new pipeline system to Hillsboro.

It’s an effort to increase water supply for the projected growth Hillsboro and neighboring cities are expecting to see in the next couple decades, an opportunity for Hillsboro to have more than one water source — which most surrounding cities do — and it’s a seismically resilient water system, TVWD media and community relations coordinator Marlys Mock said.

Coordinators are proud of the work they’ve done up to this point, Mock said, with 96 percent of the money spent on the project so far spent locally, all completed construction done by local contractors, and with minimal disruption construction-wise, coordinating with local jurisdictions to build the pipeline at the same time as road projects, lessening traffic and construction impacts and reducing project costs.

“(The project) has been broken up (into sections) partly because of jurisdictional boundaries, but also so that local contractors would have an ability to bid and win the work,” Mock said. “We didn’t want such an enormous project that it would take an international company to do, and so that effort has worked because so far all of our contractors are local.

The pipeline will run through South Hillsboro — from Southeast Blanton Street to Tualatin Valley Highway, to Southeast Frances Street and Southwest Farmington Road to Southeast Blanton Street — with some of that portion of the project’s construction already underway. Project managers were able to coordinate with the new construction happening in South Hillsboro, building the pipeline at the same time the major parts of construction take place, Mock said.

More local construction, including the Cornelius Pass Pipeline Project from Southeast Frances Street to Highway 26, is expected to begin in 2021 and be completed in 2023, according to the project map.

The additional water supply will serve well for the region’s future, Mock said.

“After a big earthquake, like what they are expecting, this is the only system that will be up and running,” Mock said. “So for the regional recovery aspect and trying to get water back online in weeks or days instead of months or longer, (it is) really important for that.”

Mock added, “Again, the additional source for Hillsboro so that they are not so dependent on one, and then we will still have a connection with the City of Portland, but this also gives us that local ownership and control. … To own your own system, that’s pretty great.”

Mock said other cities, including Beaverton, are likely to join in on the partnership. But whether they choose to or not, the water system will serve as an emergency backup for them.

“We hope to have emergency connections along the way to other communities, so even if the City of Sherwood decides they don’t want to become part of this partnership, they still have an emergency intertie so that if something happened to their source, they could get water from us,” Mock said. “But the more partners that come on, the better.”

The development of an additional water supply through a partnership “supports the region’s plans for responsible growth within the urban growth boundary,” coordinators said. “There is enough water for today — but steps need to be taken now to have an adequate supply to meet future demands and provide greater safety and reliability.”

Read the original article Hillsboro Tribune

Hillsboro approves higher water rates

Pamplin Media Group (December 14, 2018)

“The proposed 2019 water rate adjustments varied by customer class in order to ensure each class is paying their fair share based on how customers use the City’s water system and how much water they use,”

Water rates will rise by up to 20 percent for some of Hillsboro’s businesses, and by smaller amounts for single-family residential households, starting in 2019.

The Hillsboro Utilities Commission approved rate increases for the New Year, the city announced this week. Increases will also affect water customers in Cornelius, Gaston and the L.A. Water Cooperative in Laurelwood, which buy their water wholesale from Hillsboro.

The rate increases vary by customer class. The largest increase is for irrigation, which will see a 20 percent hike. Multi-family residential, commercial and public entities will shoulder a 14.7 percent increase — more than 4 percentage points less than what was originally proposed, as the commission decided on a somewhat smaller increase “after receiving input from Hillsboro community members during the rate setting process,” the city stated in a news release.

Increases for single-family residential, nonprofit and industrial customers will stay in the single-digit percentages. Single-family residential customers will see a 5 percent increase, nonprofits will experience a 6 percent increase and industrial water bills will go up by 8.5 percent.

The typical single-family residential customer will see their bill increase by about $1.61, according to the City of Hillsboro.

The water rate increase is greater for Hillsboro’s wholesale customers. Cornelius’ water rate increase is approved at 9.2 percent. Gaston and Laurelwood will get a 10.9 percent bump in rates.

The new rates will become effective Feb. 1, 2019.

Read the story here.