Photo by David Rauzi
As of Tuesday, January 30, 2018
WHITE BIRD Idaho Department of Environmental Quality awarded $85,500 in drinking water emergency funds to the City of White Bird to address infrastructure issues that led to last year’s system shutdown.
In its award announcement last Friday, Jan. 26, Idaho DEQ stated funds will be used to investigate the cause of the drinking water system’s depressurization and make a distribution system repair to fix the proximate cause of the depressurization. Costs to fill and flush the system are also considered eligible.
Water service stopped to 76 system users at the close of the Thanksgiving weekend due to diminished capacity from multiple suspected causes, which included the two municipal city wells. Service resumed approximately a week later, on a limited basis and under a city boil-order, until testing determined the system was safe for public use on Dec. 12. Just up to this point, the city had incurred more than $16,000 in emergency-related expenses.
DEQ is authorized by state law to make loans to assist in the construction of public drinking water systems. According to the agency release, because this project qualified for emergency funding under DEQ’s criteria for an emergency Drinking Water State Revolving Fund loan, the entire loan is being forgiven. This represents a total savings of $111,700 to the community when compared to average costs for municipal general obligation debt issuances.