2008 In Review
Birch Bay Water & Sewer
By Emily Resch
Water Conservation Specialist
In 2008, the district completed water main replacements on south Drayton Harbor Road and Birch Bay Lynden Road.
The district used pipe-bursting technology to replace 7,000 feet of existing water main along Drayton Harbor Road to minimize the impact to the adjacent shoreline and district crews replaced 1,000 feet of existing four inch main on Birch Bay Lynden Road. Both stretches of water mains were replaced due to old age and leaks.
The district also began construction on Blaine/Hall Road water line in mid October of this year. The project is designed to allow for additional flow into the district and to provide a secondary source from Blaine in case of a failure from the primary inter-tie.
The district and city agreed to amend the Wholesale Water Supply contract. This amendment provided for joint development of new water supplies and implemented a regional capacity charge. This charge is a connection fee that will be charged to new development within the district and city to support the cost of regional water supply facilities.
The district became a participating member of the Whatcom Water Alliance, a regional water conservation group whose goals are to promote water conservation by coordinating public information efforts and related activities.
For 2008, members agreed to support a voluntary odd-even watering schedule to reduce summer outdoor water usage.
Thanks to our customers’ support, the district was able to reduce peak day usage by 160,000 gallons from last year’s peak of 1.93 MGD. Other members of the Whatcom Water Alliance included the cities of Blaine, Ferndale, Sumas, Lake Whatcom Water District, Point Roberts Water District, Water District #2 and Water District #7. The district refinanced $3,475,000 in outstanding revenue bonds that will save rate payers $100,000 in debt service payments over the next five years. In addition, Standard and Poors upgraded the district’s credit rating, which will produce additional savings when the district issues additional bonds in the future. In addition to the ratings upgrade, the district received a “clean” audit report from the state’s auditor office.
Forthcoming in 2009, the district plans to complete construction of the Blaine/Hall Road project and begin replacing 9,000 feet of existing 14-inch force main from pump station #3 to the wastewater treatment plant.