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Water intertie agreement is not justified

West Linn City Councilor Jody Carson had a column in the Jan. 30 Tidings titled “Water intertie is vital.” It reveals another reason why she and Mayor John Kovash and Councilors Jenni Tan and Mike Jones should be recalled.

Carson foolishly commends the fact that she and rest of the council entered into a so-called new, updated water intertie agreement with Lake Oswego that guarantees West Linn 4 million gallons per day for at least the next 27 years. What happens after the 27 years is up?

Also, that so-called guarantee of 4 million gallons per day is considerably less than the amount the intertie can supply West Linn and the amount West Linn may need during an emergency.

We already had an excellent longstanding intertie agreement to be supplied water from Lake Oswego during a West Linn emergency, with reciprocal response by West Linn to supply water to Lake Oswego in the event Lake Oswego had an emergency water need.

The intertie pump station, with two pumps installed and room for a third, underwent an actual test, as witnessed by a city engineer, Gary Parkin. The two pumps pumped at a rate of 4,500 gallons per minute (gpm) when pumping against a system head curve involving the static gravity head exerted by the Bolton Reservoir plus the friction losses in the piping associated with transmitting water up to the Bolton Reservoir from the intertie. If maintained for 24 hours, that pumping rate would pump 6.48 million gallons.

If a third pump were installed in the intertie, I estimate all three pumps could pump water to the Bolton Reservoir at a rate of about 6,000 gpm or about 8.64 million gallons over 24 hours.

Even with only two pumps running, their 24-hour pumping capability of 6.48 million gallons is far more than the 4 million gallons that Carson is peddling as a guaranteed benefit in her much touted new intertie agreement. Such a so-called guarantee makes no sense, having nothing to do with reality.

The intertie, located near junction of Old River Road and Kenthorpe Way, is fed from a pressurized output pipe from the Lake Oswego water treatment plant in West Linn. It conveys water to Lake Oswego. That pressurized water is always available to also feed the intertie pump station. The output of the intertie can be arranged, with appropriate valving, to feed water to the Bolton Reservoir or to the storage reservoir of South Fork Water Board if for some reason its plant is shut down.

Carson also claims the new intertie agreement can provide West Linn with Bull Run water via Lake Oswego if the Clackamas River were hit with some sort of water emergency. We don’t need a new intertie agreement for Lake Oswego to supply us Bull Run water.

Carson simply peddles a lot of hot air when trying to justify the new intertie agreement. It’s disadvantageous to West Linn because it places a time limit of 27 years for Lake Oswego to have to supply us with emergency water and ridiculously only up to a daily total of not more than 4 million gallons.

This typifies Carson’s longstanding record of promoting projects and policies that negatively affect West Linn. Considering this, she and others listed above certainly deserve to be recalled.

Bob Thomas is a resident of West Linn.



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