Water Crisis - February, 2018

After a heavy storm on February 18, 2018 Harney Electric Coop came out to fix a down electrical pole.  While drilling to set the new pole, they hit our main water line!  They came out to fix this problem.

Over the next couple weeks it was obvious that we had major leaks throughout the station, and after HEC digging up and fixing about 4 or 5 of them, the conclusion was that the entire water system was old and had collapsed throughout the entire station.

We put out a Call for Help in the form of an Appeal Letter to our donors. The project cost was $200,000.00 Our donors stepped up and we met this goal! The project was completed in July of 2018. (viewing this slide show shows how extensive the project was)

The storm that started it all
Water came up all over
and the digging started
13 fire hydrants were installed
putting the final touches on the cleanup
Cool clear water available once again at Malheur Field Station!
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We moved rather quickly on this, even though we had hurdles to overcome. The MNWR (Malheur National Wildlife Refuge) were behind us on getting a new system. Suggestion to move it through the government red tape was to lay the pipe in the same footprint. The Paiute tribe of Harney county was also brought in. We had to lay the new pipe next to or over the existing piping. The Paiute tribe monitored the digging to make sure we did not disturb any archaeological sites. I took bids for job, and settled on Armstrong Construction out of Grant County.

The station was closed all summer of 2018 to lodging guests. We reopened in September with our Members Meeting and Thank you Dinner. It was a huge success. We had 40 people attend the meeting and stay for dinner.

Our water is classified as a public water system and is monitored by the State of Oregon. We are on a regular water testing schedule. The water is good, but heavy in minerals. Some people like it some people don’t.

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