Citizens of The Dalles have an opportunity to help a badly needed water project move up the evaluation ladder for a chance at a state water grant.
The photo above shows a metal patch on the 100-year-old wooden pipeline that delivers half the drinking water to The Dalles. Yes, we said wooden. It is a 20-inch diameter wooden-stave pipeline (made out of wooden “slats”) with a wire wrapping to hold it together.
It leaks. Badly.
In the height of the spring and summer flow it leaks one million gallons of water per day.
It needs to be replaced, and that will cost in the neighborhood of $8 million. The City already has $4 million, an unusually large 50 percent match
The city is currently ranked 23 out of 37 applicants seeking funds for infrastructure improvements.
Dave Anderson, director of The Dalles Public Works Department, believes community members can help boost the city’s ranking and improve chances of obtaining a state grant to replace the aging water line.
Anderson said the line runs about 3.5 miles and transfers about 54 percent of the city’s water supply from Dog River to the South Fork of Mill Creek.
“This pipeline is deteriorating and at risk of catastrophic failure,” he said.
He is asking people to email Jon Unger, grant program coordinator for the Oregon Water Resources Department at firstname.lastname@example.org and urge action on The Dalles project. Unger can also be reached at 503-986-0869.
The deadline for comments on ranking is Friday, April 29, at 5 p.m.
Below is a section of the grant application. The whole application can be found here.