Broken asphalt caused by a water break.

Infrastructure Funding

The need for infrastructure replacement and funding is crucial to providing clean, reliable drinking water.

Within the district’s water distribution system is a vast amount of 60-year-old cast iron pipe, which frequently fails and results in unplanned outages, property damage, and emergency repair costs. The picture below and feature picture above shows considerable asphalt damage caused by water breaks in the district.

Broken asphalt caused by a water break.

The pictures below are district-owned aged cast iron pipe that burst due to electrolysis-caused corrosion resulting in significant damage and impacts to district customers and the community.

This water main break caused significant damage to streets and personal property on Alder Way.

Water pipe with a hole in it next to a district operator.

The service/infrastructure fee was established in 2019 to generate additional revenue to fund capital improvements and continue to provide the appropriate level of maintenance to the district’s water delivery and wastewater collection systems. As part of the annual budget process, the board of directors reviews various policy issues related to the overall operations of the district including cash reserve requirements.

The district’s water distribution system continues to require significant attention as portions of the system approach the end of its reliable, useful life. It is extremely important that the district maintain a proactive maintenance program and comprehensive long-range capital improvement program to detect and repair all district owned infrastructure as necessary.

To meet the financial requirements of the scheduled pipe replacement projects over the next ten years while maintaining adequate cash reserves, and absorbing increased construction costs, the monthly service fee was increased to $18 per 3/4″ meter at the beginning of 2024. Without the increase in the service fee, the district may not be able to fund the required water main replacement projects that provide residents with public health protection and safety. The district also runs the risk of depleting its cash reserves and being unable to perform the proper level of maintenance required to deliver safe, reliable drinking water to our customers. The district’s board of directors are considering several other options in order to fully fund the planned water main replacement projects.