The Water Department is responsible for the operation and maintenance of the City’s groundwater wells and water distribution system. The well system consists of two wells and a chlorination facility. The City’s main well is PW Well No. 2, and PW Well No. 1 serves as a secondary or backup well. The City is also a wholesale customer of the City of St. Helens, and purchases water as needed. The water from all three sources is pumped via two pump stations into Columbia City's water reservoir system, consisting of three storage reservoirs with a combined storage capacity of 1.4 million gallons, and then distributed into the system. The distribution system consists of approximately 16 miles of distribution lines and 857 service lines and water meters
The Water Department is funded by charges for service, licenses, permits and fees, intergovernmental revenues, loan proceeds, and miscellaneous revenue.
The Water Department is staffed by the Public Works Superintendent, Micah Rogers, and two Utility Workers. The Public Works Superintendent is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations and the development of the City water system, and for supervising the water system maintenance staff. The department can be reached by calling (503) 366-0454, or faxing to (503) 366-2870. The department's mailing address is PO Box 189, Columbia City, OR 97018. The City Shop is located at 1755 Second Place. You can also contact them using our online contact form.
The City has an active Water Source and Development Committee and they meet on an as-needed basis. Click here for Water Source and Development Committee Meeting Minutes.
Current Rates and General Regulations for Water and Sewer Services - Last revision to information was June 2016.
Water Conservation Publications: provided by Oregon State University
DEPARTMENT ACCOMPLISHMENTS IN 2015-16:
• Continued to promote water conservation through public education, the design of the water rate structure, a system wide leak detection survey, leak repair work, etc. Low leak loss adds capacity to our water system and lowers our wholesale purchase costs for water, and every effort is made to identify and eliminate leaks from the system.
• Identified and repaired leaks throughout the year.
• Successfully reduced the amount of unaccounted for water loss to 10%.
DEPARTMENT OBJECTIVES FOR 2016-17:
To implement the water source protection strategies identified in the Drinking Water Protection Plan. Target date: June 30, 2017.
To implement the water conservation strategies identified in the Water Management and Conservation Plan. June 30, 2017.
To make necessary repairs to eliminate water leaks as identified in the system wide leak detection study to effectively maintain water loss levels of 10% or less. Target date: Ongoing.
To complete the replacement of three leaking and/or obsolete fire hydrants in accordance with 2016-17 Policy Goal and Objective 3D set forth by Council. This project is further described in the Five Year Capital Improvement Program. Target date: June 30, 2017.
To secure an easement for an overflow drain for the Upper Reservoir. Target date: July 31, 2016.
To complete the Upper Reservoir Restoration and Level Monitoring project in accordance with 2016-17 Policy Goal and Objective 3C set forth by Council, and as outlined in the Five Year Capital Improvement Program. Target date: June 30 2017.
To negotiate a new Wholesale Water Agreement with the City of St. Helens in conjunction with 2016-17 Policy Goal and Objective 3B set forth by Council. Target date: As soon as possible.
To annually flush the water system and exercise all fire hydrants. Target date: November 2016.
To continue to implement a cross-connection program to require backflow devices for all new construction and a retrofitting program for existing water connections in an effort to fully protect the City's water distribution system. Target date: Ongoing.
To continue to meet all requirements and regulations governing public water systems through upgraded facilities and well-educated staff. Target date: Ongoing.
To continue to provide the community with quality water that meets all Oregon Drinking Water Program standards. Target date: Ongoing.
To emphasize special training and education of department employees. Target date: Ongoing.
To seek grant and forgivable loan opportunities for identified water improvement projects. Target date: Ongoing.
CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS PLANNED FOR 2016-17:
Upper Reservoir Restoration and Improvements. Project involves recoating the interior and exterior of the upper level reservoir to prevent additional corrosion and completing structural repairs, if needed, adding seismic upgrades, installing a telemetry system for remote monitoring, and the addition of an overflow drain. Estimated cost: $260,000.
Fire Hydrant Replacement Project. Project involves the replacement of three fire hydrants that were found to be leaking during a City-wide lead detection survey. The hydrants are old and the parts needed to repair them may no longer be available. Estimated cost: $21,000.
Source Water Protection Project. Project involves the abandonment of two dry wells that are located within the City's drinking water protection area by redirecting the storm water into existing drainage swales. This project is dependent upon a Source Water Protection Grant award. Estimated cost: $50,000.
City of Columbia City • P.O. Box 189 • 1840 Second Street • Columbia City, OR 97018 • (503) 397-4010 • Contact Us