Welcome!

Possible System-Wide Water Outage Starting September 08, 2022  (updated 09/12/22)

L A Water Staff would like to thank all our members for your patience and assistance through this recent power outage. An extra thank-you to members who helped conserve water, those who called when lights were flashing at the pump stations and reservoirs, and for letting us know when power was restored in critical areas. Your help was very much appreciated.

During the outage most of our 15 pump stations were offline, which means a large portion of our customers were reliant on only the water in our storage tanks, while some of you had to deal with low pressure and a few with no water at all. Staff members were out all weekend monitoring levels and checking on pump stations as each one was restored power. By the time the last pumps were restored, many of our tanks were at critically low water levels. As of this morning (9/12/2022) levels have recovered well and should be back to normal levels by tomorrow.

The Board would also like to thank the staff who worked throughout their weekend, fielding calls and monitoring the entire system to assure everything was operational as power was restored. The staff that were involved are salary employees and received no additional compensation or overtime for their efforts.

 

(previously released)
Due to the hot and dry weather our area has experienced, PGE has announced a “possible Public Safety Power Shutoff to help reduce wildfire potential” (click here to see PGE’s announcement). In the event the power is cut off, the numerous pumps within LA Water Cooperative’s service areas will cease to pump water. According to PGE, “these safety-related outages could last several hours or multiple days”. Our water system is designed with storage capacity that, in theory, based upon normal water consumption rates, should keep water flowing for a few days once the power is lost. Because of the extended hot temperatures, and people’s unpredictable water use habits, it is possible that water reserves could be used up much faster than normal which could result in a premature loss of water service to your residence.

LA Water Cooperative suggests that it’s members prepare for an outage BEFORE it occurs. Consider filling water containers for drinking and consumption, as well as additional containers for utility and sanitation such as washing or flushing toilets. Oregon State University Extension Service has some good information on emergency water preparedness (click here to go to OSU’s page). In brief, OSU suggests a minimum of one gallon of drinking water, per person, per day – and don’t forget the pets!

If we do experience a power outage, please do your best to conserve water by using a little as possible until the power is restored. Simple things such as washing your car, watering the lawn, or filling pools, can use many hundreds if not thousands of gallons of water.

 

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“In-Person” Board Meetings Are Back!

Starting with April’s meeting, the board meetings are back to being held “in-person”. Since the start of Covid, the board has been meeting by Zoom which has made it difficult for members to regularly attend. With the return of in-person meetings, members are always welcome, and encouraged, to attend. The meetings are held on the 4th Thursday of each month, at 6:00 PM, at the Gaston city fire station. Hope to see you there!

 

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2021 Year in Review

For those newer to L.A. Water in recent years, you may not know that our water coop has approximately 864 certificate holders with 777 of those certificates currently connected to the system. Our service area covers approximately 25 square miles of the Chehalem Valley, rural south-western Washington County, and northern Yamhill County. The service area ranges in elevation from 180 feet on the valley floor to 1,620 feet on Bald Peak. We have 15 reservoirs, 15 pump stations and over 60 miles of pipeline, most of which was installed in the 60’s and 70’s. All this is maintained and serviced 24/7 by 2 full time field technicians, 1 full time operations/office manager and 1 part time administrative assistant. We also have available as needed a Certified Level II DRC and an electrical engineer.

This past year has been a challenging, but productive year. It was necessary to make some staffing changes, which left us short-handed for a couple months during the spring/summer. We were fortunate enough to hire two new field technicians that have been a great asset to our team. Due to COVID regulations, needed supplies have at times been hard to source, but we have managed to keep things working until necessary parts could be sourced and installed.

A big accomplishment this year, was the completion of the new section of our main water line that crossed Wapato Creek on Gaston Road. This project started in 2020 and was done in conjunction with Washington County’s bridge replacement. Our main line was moved to the north side of the creek and hung on the side of the bridge which will protect it from debris floating down the creek. A total of approximately 950 feet of line was replaced.

Other than the routine maintenance and tasks which include daily rounds, monthly meter readings, 811 locates, landscape maintenance at all reservoirs and pump stations, winterizing reservoirs and pump stations and shop and vehicle maintenance, I have listed below some of the larger projects that were handled by our staff this year.

  • Repaired approximately 20 leaks

  • Repair of a faulty altitude valve at a reservoir

  • Repaired and/or rebuilt 5 mainline PRV’s (Pressure Reducing Valves)

  • 4 PGE power outages which caused damage to electrical panels in pumps houses

  • Repaired and/or replaced 3 aging wooden vaults

  • Repaired and/or replaced aging pumps, check valves and parts in 5 pump houses

At times, some of the above issues and leaks left customers without water for varying periods of time. We wish to thank you all for your patience as we worked to restore your services as quickly as possible. We know it can be an inconvenience to be without water and all the staff here at L.A. Water Coop work hard to ensure that problems are corrected as quickly and efficiently as possible. We look forward to continuing to serve our members.

 

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Water Rate Increases

In 2020 and 2022, the City of Hillsboro implemented rate increases, which the board decided not to pass on to our members due to the hardships many were experiencing during the COVID pandemic. Unfortunately, as the overall cost of parts, labor and services have increased significantly over the past few months, it is necessary to pass on a rate increase to our members.

Our water certificate gives members rights to 15,000 gallons a month per certificate. This cap is to prevent over-taxing our system. After much consideration, instead of increasing the overall rates for every customer, the Board voted to increase the rate schedule for gallons used over 20,000 gallons per month. The goal is to re-coup some of the cost increases we are incurring, while keeping our overall rates affordable for our customers and deter overuse that taxes our system and infrastructure.

Click on this link to see the full notice in PDF format , which includes a chart for the new rates and how they may affect you. Please do not hesitate to call the office if you have any questions.

 

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2022 Election Results

On Wednesday, March 23rd, 2022 the ballots for the open board positions were counted and verified by the LA Water staff and 3 board members, with one coop member observing.

Please help us in congratulating the re-elected Board Members, Dave McAdams and Amber Morgan, as well as welcoming our newest board member Ted Leach.

All Board Members are volunteers who donate their time to oversee the operations of LA Water and the staff and to make decisions regarding the health, safety and operational functions of LA Water. The time and work they put in to serve all coop members is greatly appreciated by the staff here at LA Water.

Your nine-member board consists of the following certificate holders:

Member

Position

Term Ends

Don Wicks

President/Chair

2024

Ken Aberle

Vice President

2023

Linda Fountain

Secretary

2023

Amber Morgan

Treasurer

2025

Megan Corvus

Board Member

2024

Lisa Dutz

Board Member

2024

Tom Gunn

Board Member

2023

Dave McAdams

Board Member

2025

Ted Leach

Board Member

2025

 

Our board meetings are held on the 4th Thursday of the month and have been held via Zoom since the start of the Covid shut down. Now that we are transitioning out of Covid restrictions, we are working to re-establish a meeting facility so we can return to in person meetings.

Watch our website (www.lawatercoop.org) for updates as to when and where in-person meetings will be returning.

 

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Annual Meeting 2022

The annual meeting for the Water Co-op was cancelled again due to Covid restrictions. Our board meetings continue to be held on the 4th Thursday of the month, and have been held via Zoom since the start of the Covid shut down. Now that we are transitioning out of Covid restrictions, we are working to re-establish a meeting facility so we can return to in person meetings.

Watch our website for updates as to when and where in-person meetings will be returning.

 

 

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Online Payments Are Finally Here!

Thanks to the hard work of board members Amber Morgan and Linda Fountain, and our new Business Manager Laurie Lago, the Co-Op is now able to accept online electronic payments using your credit card, debit card, or an eCheck. Click here to find out how!

 

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