August 29, 2012 | LXXII, No. 22

East Heights pipe dream coming true

Some East Heights residents will see improvement in water service this week after city crews installed an 8-inch plastic water line along Boulder Avenue. Others in the neighborhood will see a similar improvement when city crews do the other side of the loop next year.

Grand Coulee city workers complete putting in a new water service pipeline in East Heights that will both improve the quality of water and water pressure for the customers it will serve. Roger S. Lucas photo

Residents in East Heights have complained about the quality of their water and water pressure for several years.

Last week, public works director Dennis Francis told the city council that the line has been filled with chlorine water for purification and that as soon as the city clears the new 8-inch line and hookups are made, residents will be able to turn their taps on and many of the water problems the neighborhood has had will be alleviated.

Previously residents on Boulder Avenue have been served through a 2-inch steel pipe that over time has accumulated rust and other materials effectively reducing it to a 1-inch pipe, Francis told the council.

There’s still a major problem that will have to be worked out later. The 4-inch line that serves East Heights, a distance of some 1,000 feet, is still insufficient for the area’s water needs. This improvement will likely be part of a wider city water project sometime in the future.

East Heights residents flooded city hall a few years ago asking what the city was going to do about service to the area. The city explained at the time that East Heights residents would have to pay for the improvements, since they were not within the city limits. Residents successfully annexed to the city about a year ago, and now service is the city’s problem.

Residents had complained about pressure and water quality, saying there wasn’t enough pressure for showers or to water their lawns. Francis said last week that previously when people on Boulder Avenue wanted to shower they called their neighbors to ask them not to use their water. Now, hopefully, that problem for at least some has been solved.

Francis said Tuesday that the city planned to flush the new 8-inch pipe and then water users could test the system.

At one point on Boulder Avenue, city workers had to punch through solid rock to put the new plastic pipe in. The rock was hauled away and replaced by a city-mixed dirt fill.

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