Eagle Water Co. ordered to respond to low-pressure problems
Boise – The Idaho Public Utilities Commission today issued an emergency order directing Eagle Water Company to immediately address deficient water pressure problems in its service territory. Eagle Water is a private water company, not the same as the City of Eagle’s municipal water service.
The company also received a Notice of Violation from the state Department of Environmental Quality for failing to maintain water pressure to about 50 customers in the Eagle Springs Estates subdivision. The company serves more than 2,500 customers in and around the City of Eagle.
Eagle Water customers in the subdivision have complained to the commission and to DEQ that they are unable to flush toilets, take showers, wash their hands, operate their dishwashers and irrigate their yards. The customers most affected by low-water pressure live on or adjacent to Big Springs Boulevard.
During a 10-day period in July, monitoring ordered by the commission staff, showed several hours of each day when water pressure was below 40 pounds per square inch. As a general rule, public water systems maintain a minimum water pressure of 40 psi. There were seven days when water pressure during a four-hour period dropped below 20 psi and four days when pressure was below 10 psi for about two hours. When pressure falls below 20 psi, Eagle Water must notify customers to drink bottled water because low pressure of the system can subject it to chemical and microbial contamination from cross-connections and water system leaks.
The commission is directing the company to:
1) Take immediate actions to correct the water deficiency within seven days.
2) Continue to provide the commission with water pressure reports from the Big Springs monitoring station for at least 14 days.
3) Prepare an engineering report of its entire system to address near- and long-term pressure problems.
4) Within 21 days, file an application with the commission for an emergency surcharge in an amount sufficient to recover the cost of immediate system improvements to address the low-pressure condition.
Commission staff will prepare a postcard mailer advising all customers to initiate alternate day irrigation. The staff will also contact the Homeowners Association and design an irrigation schedule that the association must follow to mitigate any contribution to low-pressure problems.
This is not the first time customers in this area have reported water pressure problems. Last summer, Eagle Water acknowledged a temporary reduction in water pressure when the operator of a nearby sand and gravel pit “undermined” the 12-inch water line leading to a booster pump in the impacted area. Eagle Water replaced the 12-inch main with an 8-inch main.
The Eagle Springs subdivision and the Veterans Cemetery are generally located on the east side of Horseshoe Bend Road (old Highway 55) and north of Hill Road.