BirchBay water district urges voluntary conservation

Published on Thu, Jul 13, 2006 by ara Nelson

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Birch Bay water district urges voluntary conservation

By Tara Nelson

Birch Bay Water and Sewer District (BBWSD) officials are asking residents of Birch Bay to cut back on their water usage this summer.
Roger Brown, BBWSD general manager, said that several days of unusually warm weather coupled with a long holiday weekend created exceptionally high demand for water causing the district to use more than it is allocated under contract with the city of Blaine.

“Part of what we had was a double whammy,” he said. “Under those circumstances, we were losing about three feet of water per day in the Kickerville reservoir.”

Brown said that between Friday, June 30 and Tuesday, July 4, the area served by the district used an average of 1.8 million gallons per day, with a high of 1.9 million gallons Monday.

For two of the days, the district went beyond the amount in their contract with the city. Under their contract, BBWSD is allowed slightly over 1.6 million gallons per day. The district has incurred approximately $6,900 in penalty charges as a result, he said.

Brown said since then, the district has replenished their supply and has not exceeded limits again.

Last weekend, the district averaged approximately 1.5 million gallons of water per day, but the real difference can be seen in the Kickerville reservoir.

“For perspective, we had 477,000 gallons available in surplus storage on the Fourth of July and on Monday, July 10, we had 1.2 million, so our storage levels have replenished rather quickly.”

The district has also temporarily suspended deliveries of potable water to the BP Cherry Point refinery. BBWSD has a contract with the refinery that allows for delivery of approximately 40,000 gallons per day but Brown said that contract may be interrupted when necessary to meet the demands of Birch Bay customers.

The refinery will activate its own water treatment plant to treat a portion of the industrial-grade water to potable standards, he said.

In the meantime, with continued warm weather in the forecast, district officials are asking customers to be mindful of their water usage, avoid over-watering their lawn, or consider letting it go dormant for the summer.

“We’re just asking people to use water wisely,” Brown said. “Don’t water when you don’t need to and don’t water the sidewalk.”