The majority of project costs will be supported through monthly rates paid by Bend’s drinking water customers. The Oregon Drinking Water Advisory Committee also supports the project. State funding to help pay project costs will include low interest loans: $10 million from the Infrastructure Finance Authority’s Water/Wastewater Finance Program and $7.25 million from the State of Oregon Safe Drinking Water Revolving Loan Fund.
Will water rates change as a result of this project?
The City will finance the project with debt (bond sales) and has already increased water rates to service that debt. The City Council authorized rate increases last year to cover the costs of the water intake and pipeline replacement. The increases add 85 cents to $1.70 per month for a typical residence.
What is the project timeline?
Construction will start early 2014 and is expected to take approximately one year.
What's wrong with the water pipelines?
Bend’s primary source of drinking water is Bridge Creek in the Deschutes National Forest. The two existing pipes that deliver drinking water to Bend from the Bridge Creek source (12- and 14-inch diameter) were built in the 1920s and 1950s. The pipes are deteriorating, entangled with tree roots, and increasingly prone to failure. One pipe failed last fall requiring repair. In addition, the existing pipelines lack flow controls to avoid unnecessary diversions.
How much will the Bridge Creek Pipeline Replacement project cost?
The City’s current cost estimate (February 2013) is shown below for each portion of the project, and the total:
Water Intake Upgrade
How much water does the City divert with the existing system, and how much will it divert with the new system?
The City’s existing water system lacks flow controls. For the last 55 years, Bend has diverted water at a constant rate of 18.2 cubic feet per second (cfs) when operating, even when actual use is lower. With the existing system, unused water is returned to Tumalo Creek downstream from Bend’s storage facility.
The new flow control system will enable the City to divert only the water needed for municipal use. The City is proposing to limit its peak diversion to the current rate of 18.2 cfs.
Will the Bridge Creek Pipeline Replacement Project affect water flow over Tumalo Falls?
Improvements to the Bridge Creek water supply system will not change water flow over Tumalo Falls.
The City's water intake facility withdraws water from Bridge Creek. This flow is supplemented with water diverted from springs located above Bridge Creek. The springs are located along the Middle Fork of Tumalo Creek—the source of water for Tumalo Falls. This spring diversion system has operated since the 1950s; no physical or operational changes are proposed and current flows over Tumalo Falls will not change.