All posts by Willamette Water Supply

$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

Chicken Creek project to create Tualatin River wetland

Work at the National Wildlife Refuge is focused on restoring the creek to its original shape.

The Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge is starting a yearlong project to re-create the original curvature of Chicken Creek.

The creek, which naturally flowed into the Tualatin River, was constructed into a single straight line a century ago for farming purposes.

“When you straighten (a creek), the water goes a lot faster and carries a lot more sediment in it, and it doesn’t carry as much diversity in the channel,” Refuge manager Larry Klimek said. When it returns to its natural flow, he added, “It’ll slow down and spread out over the landscape.”

The construction will help create a natural wetland system on the Refuge’s 280-acre Atfalat’i Unit.

Klimek said he doesn’t anticipate water staying in the creek channel, because beavers will most likely come and dam portions of the creek, causing it to pond and flood.

“It just creates a whole lot of other diversity,” he said. “So now you have water influencing a much larger area than just one strip coming down.”

The construction has been a part of the Refuge’s comprehensive conservation plan since 2013.

Organizations like Ducks Unlimited, Friends of the Tualatin National Wildlife Refuge, Willamette Water Supply and…

Continue reading article at SherwoodGazette

Hillsboro looks at water rate increases for 2020

Cornelius water customers would see their rates hiked nearly 10%. Most of Hillsboro’s rates would go up less.

For the third time in four years, the City of Hillsboro is looking at raising water rates for customers in the city, as well as Cornelius, Gaston and Laurelwood.

The city’s utilities commission plans to consider the matter in October, but Hillsboro officials are hoping for feedback from the community about the changes by the end of this month.

If approved, the water rate increases would go into effect next year.

The proposed increases would raise the rate for single-family homes by 4.9%, nearly the same increase the city imposed last year, when it raised water rates for single-family customers by 5%. According to the city, a typical resident living in a single-family home uses about 6,000 gallons of water per month. Their water bill would increase by $1.68, from $34.34 to $36.02.

Customers are charged based on how much water they use, as well as the frequency they use. Actual percentages are expected to…

Continue reading article at HillsboroNewsTimes

Hillsboro State of the City a celebration of accomplishments

Mayor Steve Callaway’s annual state of the city looks back on the year that was, and the future of Hillsboro

The president’s annual State of the Union address is often seen as a formal, serious affair, but in the Hillsboro Civic Center on Tuesday night, surrounding by bicyclists, plenty of jokes and a parody video of Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start the Fire,” Hillsboro Mayor Steve Callaway’s annual State of the City was anything but.

Callaway, who has served as Hillsboro’s mayor since 2017, said the annual address is meant to be a celebration of the city’s accomplishments, and a look toward the future.

“The city loves to have fun,” Callaway told a packed crowd on Jan. 29. “It’s true in everything we do, including our state of the city.”

Callaway outlined a number of accomplishments the city achieved in 2018, touching everything from transportation to sustainability.

“As a city government, we never shut down,” Callaway said, poking fun at the partial shutdown of the federal government, which ended last week after more than a month. “Since Oct. 19, 1876 we have been serving our community for 52,042 consecutive days, plus about 18 hours and 10 minutes. Cities don’t shut down and our budgets always balance.”

In a city where more than one-quarter of the population is non-white, the city has launched a plan to bring more cultural arts to the city, and purchased children’s books for its city libraries in seven new languages. It launched a Spanish-language city newsletter and continued its mission to engage the community through its Civic Leadership Academy, which works to prepare residents to serve on city boards and commissions. City Councilor Beach Pace is the first graduate of the program to be elected to the Council.

Callaway said the city is working to be more inclusive and engage with diverse community members.

“We’re taking the time to get it right,” Callaway said.

Continue reading Hillsboro State of the City a celebration of accomplishments

Beaverton Moves Ahead with Water Agreements

One allows withdrawal of 16,000 people within city from Tualatin Valley district; other commits city to join regional intertie system with Willamette River.

Beaverton has taken two more steps toward moving 16,000 residents into city water service and securing future water from the Willamette River.

City councilors have voted to empower Mayor Denny Doyle to sign an agreement with Tualatin Valley Water District, which will allow 16,000 district customers already in the city limits to transition to city water service.

The actual withdrawal will await public hearings by the City Council in March. The agreement allows the district to continue water service during the transition, which is projected to start in July.

City councilors also gave preliminary approval to an agreement committing the city to join the Willamette Intake Facility, which eventually will enable Beaverton and other cities to draw water as part of the Willamette Water Supply System. Continue reading Beaverton Moves Ahead with Water Agreements

Kinsman Road Extension to Open Four Months Early and On Budget, Combines Multiple Projects to Save Taxpayer Funds

WILSONVILLE, OR — The City of Wilsonville announces that the new Kinsman Road extension that connects SW Barber Street to SW Boeckman Road is opening on budget and four months ahead of schedule during the week of Jan. 15. In addition to providing another routing connection for travelers, construction of the roadway incorporated simultaneously other water- and sewer-installation infrastructure projects that resulted in reduced public disruption and costs.

Originally scheduled for completion in June 2018, the $8.6 million half-mile-long roadway segment, located between Villebois and the industrial westside of Wilsonville, connects two major arterials that greatly improves the city street-grid and provides increased connectivity for both freight and residential traffic. The new Kinsman Road extension was constructed as a heavy-duty concrete roadway complete with sidewalks and bike lanes that also provides increased public access to the Wilsonville Transit Center, including SMART Central bus and Tri-Met WES commuter rail service.

Click to enlarge.

City engineer Zach Weigel, PE, who oversaw the project, indicates that advance planning and permitting activities, favorable weather and well-coordinated government agencies and contractors contributed to the early completion of the project. City Community Development Director Nancy Kraushaar, PE, said, “The Kinsman Road extension project is a real win-win for the public that provides new travel routing options, as well as reduced costs for additional major water and sewer projects.”

City engineers worked to combine $5.1 million of other public infrastructure projects with the long-planned road extension in order to more efficiently use taxpayer-funds. The Kinsman Road project included the installation of a $4.0 million segment of a major drinking-water pipeline and a $1.1 million sanitary sewer pipe. Simultaneous construction of the road, Willamette Water Supply Program (WWSP) water pipeline and sewer project allowed various local governments to all save money and minimize disruption to the public by utilizing one contractor and sharing common costs, such as contractor mobilization, traffic control, permitting, project design, right-of-way acquisition and environmental protections that all three projects would have incurred if performed separately.

The Willamette Water Supply Program, a partnership between the Tualatin Valley Water District (TVWD) and the City of Hillsboro, installed nearly 3,000 feet of 66-inch diameter pipeline that is the first completed section of 30 miles of large-diameter water-supply pipeline from Wilsonville to Hillsboro and Beaverton. The pipeline is made of half-inch thick steel with welded joints, a cement mortar lining inside the pipe, and a highly durable polyurethane coating on the outside. Future segments of the pipeline are to connect along Boeckman Road to the east and on Kinsman Road to the south of Barber Street.

The City also installed over 3,000 feet of new sewer line in the acquired road right-of-way that is designed to serve the regionally significant Coffee Creek industrial area now under development.

The Coffee Lake wetlands complex adjoins both sides of the Kinsman Road extension. The west side of the new roadway features an extra-wide sidewalk and benches for wildlife and habitat viewing. Fencing along the road and a series of wildlife corridor passages beneath Kinsman Road, including round and box culverts, were constructed to improve safety for both drivers and wildlife. These details maintain wildlife corridors within an urban landscape and mirror the natural resource protection previously achieved with the Boeckman Road project that also crosses the wetlands.

The project design team was led by OBEC Consulting Engineers, and Emery and Sons Construction Group of Salem managed the construction project. The water-supply pipe was manufactured by Northwest Pipe Co., which specializes in large-diameter steel pipelines. A total of 90 local jobs are estimated to have been sustained during the course of the 12-month-long project.

Funding for the combined $13.7 million road-sewer-water pipeline project came from City transportation and wastewater system development charges, federal/state funds (U. S. Dept. of Transportation Multimodal Transportation Enhance Program (MTEP) through the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) and Surface Transportation Program Urban (STP-U)), and the ratepayers of the TVWD and City of Hillsboro.

Download Kinsman Road Extension Vicinity Map (PDF)

Underground river: Pipeline to bring water to westside

By Jim Redden and John William Howard. From the Portland Tribune.

North Portland company supplies large pipes for $1.2 billion Willamette Water Supply Program that us underway in Washington County

Westside suburbs are mounting a $1.2 billion project to take drinking water from the Willamette River, with a Portland company playing a major supporting role.

Northwest Pipe Co. has so far provided all of the pipe for the Willamette Water Supply Program, one of the largest public infrastructure projects ever undertaken in the region.

When it is completed, the project will draw water from the Willamette River in Wilsonville and provide it to communities in Washington County through more than 30 miles of pipe, a water treatment system, two reservoirs and numerous pumping stations.

Northwest Pipe, located in the Burgard Industrial Park in far North Portland, has won all three contracts awarded for the pipe so far. It is on track to produce 19,500 feet of pipe for the first three stages of the project. The sections ranges from 48 to 66 inches in diameter, and from 48 to 60 feet long.

Continue reading Underground river: Pipeline to bring water to westside

A call to action: Imagine a ‘day without water’

by Mark Knudson and Kevin Hanway

Washington County residents can take practical steps to safeguard public safety in emergencies

Imagine: No water to drink, fight fires, water crops, shower, or flush the toilet. Some communities in America already have experienced how difficult it can be to go a day without our most precious resource: Water.

Oct. 12 is Imagine a Day Without Water — an opportunity to raise awareness and talk about the value and importance of water in all our lives.

This year, the U.S. has endured 49 separate weather, climate and flood disasters. These events have caused billions of dollars of damage and led to the second most disaster-laden season on record. The majority of these events severely affected water quality and availability.

For Tualatin Valley Water District (TVWD) and the city of Hillsboro, these disasters reinforce the importance of maintenance of water infrastructure and the need for investment in reliable and resilient water systems. Why? So we can restore access to high-quality, safe drinking water and water for fire protection as quickly as possible after an emergency.

Earthquakes are high on the list of natural disasters that can interrupt our drinking water supply. Communities often are without reliable, safe, water supplies following a large earthquake. Restoring water service to hospitals, schools, homes and businesses — as well as for firefighting — can sometimes take months. This is a critical threat to public health, public safety and the region’s economy.

The good news is some new infrastructure is coming.

TVWD and the city of Hillsboro are currently partnering to develop the mid-Willamette River at Wilsonville as an additional water supply source for Washington County by 2026. The Willamette Water Supply Program (WWSP) will design and build a water treatment plant, storage tanks, and more than 30 miles of large-diameter transmission pipeline traveling from Wilsonville to Hillsboro.

This new water delivery system is designed to withstand the impacts of a Cascadia earthquake or other natural disasters so that water service can be restored quickly and our communities can recover sooner. Not only will this new water infrastructure increase the resiliency and reliability of the region’s water supply, but the mid-Willamette River will also become an additional source of high quality water for both TVWD and the city of Hillsboro.

Primary goals of TVWD and the city of Hillsboro are to protect public health and provide customers access to quality water as quickly as possible after an emergency. In addition to their investments in the new WWSP water infrastructure project, TVWD and the city support these goals by investing in maintenance and upgrades of the treatment plants, pumps, pipes, and storage facilities that work seamlessly to deliver water to your tap. These water system facilities are managed by our highly skilled professional staffs who, like the systems they oversee, operate in the background of our busy modern lives. We also are industry leaders that work in partnership with other agencies on regional emergency planning and seismic preparedness.

However, depending on our public institutions to take care of us when disaster strikes isn’t enough. TVWD and the city of Hillsboro call all customers to action.

TVWD and the city of Hillsboro are dedicated to doing our part to strengthen and maintain water infrastructure to bring clean, safe water to customers in the aftermath of a major disaster.

City and TVWD officials encourage area residents to create an emergency response plan and compile personal emergency response kits, with water, food, a first-aid kit and other supplies necessary to keep you and your family going for a minimum of 72 hours.

We hope you will join us in reflecting on the value of water and preparing in advance so a day without water doesn’t become our reality.

Mark Knudson is the CEO of Tualatin Valley Water District and Kevin Hanway is director of the city of Hillsboro Water Department.

Originally posted at

Hillsboro Water Department Celebrates National Infrastructure Week, Ongoing Pipeline Projects

The Willamette Water Supply Program is just one example of Hillsboro’s commitment to supporting water infrastructure.

By Travis Loose (Patch Staff) – May 16, 2017 1:48 pm ET

HILLSBORO, OR — Officials with the city’s Water Department on Monday announced the City of Hillsboro’s support and participation in national Infrastructure Week, which from May 15 to May 19 asks city governments across the country to advocate for local projects that support the roads, bridges, railways, energy systems, and utilities used by U.S. residents every day.

In Hillsboro, water utilities have been a priority for years, with past city leaders showing foresight by implementing plans decades ago that have not only benefitted Hillsboro residents today but also laid the groundwork for improvement projects that will support residents well into the future.

One example of Hillsboro’s penchant for forward thinking investments is the Willamette Water Supply Program (WWSP), a drinking water infrastructure project that has brought the Tualatin Valley Water District (TVWD) and City of Hillsboro together to construct a 30-mile, large diameter water pipeline from the mid-Willamette River at Wilsonville to North Hillsboro, near Bethany.

“This major water infrastructure project spans across five cities in Washington County, including Wilsonville, Tualatin, Sherwood, Beaverton, and Hillsboro,” Willamette Water Supply Program Director Dave Kraska said in a statement on April 25. “We have divided the work up into smaller pieces over several years. This allows and provides local and regional businesses of all sizes an opportunity to be a part of this historic project that will benefit the local economy, provide jobs, and support regional economic development.”

Continue reading Hillsboro Water Department Celebrates National Infrastructure Week, Ongoing Pipeline Projects

Business Opportunities Increasing for Major Water Program

The Willamette Water Supply Program (Program), a drinking water infrastructure partnership between the Tualatin Valley Water District and the City of Hillsboro, has released its baseline design and construction schedule – a milestone that sets a multitude of business opportunities into motion for the next decade.

“This major water infrastructure project spans across five cities in Washington County, including Wilsonville, Tualatin, Sherwood, Beaverton, and Hillsboro,” notes Dave Kraska, Willamette Water Supply Program Director. “We have divided the work up into smaller pieces over several years. This allows and provides local and regional businesses of all sizes an opportunity to be a part of this historic project that will benefit the local economy, provide jobs, and support regional economic development.”

The Program schedule includes the various construction components needed through 2026 when water will begin to flow to Tualatin Valley Water District, City of Hillsboro, and City of Beaverton water customers through the new water system.