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Beaverton to switch water from main transmission line to aquifer storage and recovery wells

Change will last for 3-4 weeks while Cornelius Pass Road improved

Beginning on Monday, Feb. 16, the City of Beaverton switched water service from the city’s main transmission line to water pumped primarily from the city’s aquifer storage and recovery wells for three to four weeks.

The change is due to work on the expansion of Cornelius Pass Road, which will impact the seven-mile long transmission line that normally carries all drinking water at this time of year from the connection at Cornelius Pass into Beaverton.

The city’s existing line, which transmits billions of gallons of water each year, is currently located underground at Cornelius Pass Road. That line, which measures 36 inches in diameter, will be relocated to Southwest 209th and Tualatin-Valley Highway.

This will be the first time the city has relied principally on its aquifers for such an extended period of time. In the summer, the city’s wells account for about 30 percent of daily water supply; during the next four weeks, Beaverton’s wells will provide 50-75 percent of the daily water supply.

“Our public works department does an incredible job with a very important part of our infrastructure — our water,” Beaverton Mayor Denny Doyle said in a press release. “Because we have invested in our infrastructure, we are well prepared to continue to serve our residents. The transition has already been tested and is expected to go smoothly.”

Currently, the city uses on an average six to seven million gallons of water per day at this time of year. The city’s underground water aquifers will provide up to five million gallons per day and the remaining gap will be filled by water supplied from Tualatin Valley Water District and the City of Portland.

While Beaverton’s underground water reserves store half a billion gallons of water, the city needed to partner with TVWD and City of Portland because the city’s pumping capacity can provide up to 75 percent of the supply needed. The remainder will come from the other sources during the transmission line shutdown.

During the duration of the project, no disruption in water service is expected, no fees or rates will change, the water from TVWD is already fluoridated to the same level as the rest of Beaverton’s water, and the majority of residents receiving water from the underground reserves probably won’t notice any differences.

Water will continue to comply with federal drinking water standards, though the city reports that some differences in taste may be noticed near the three intake areas of Beaverton’s system.

To move the large water meter and install a new 12-foot deep underground concrete vault, the city is draining about a mile of existing 36-inch pipe. The pipe will be drained between 185th and 219th avenues. The water will be de-chlorinated and released into local culverts and the creek system.

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