City water line stabilized

February 4, 2012

As snowdrifts melt and fallen trees are slowly cleared around the valley, city water users can begin to rest a little easier.

According to Mark Lago, director of public works for Hood River, the city water main, recently threatened by a progressing landslide on the banks of the Hood River, has been stabilized.

"We have driven I-beams 40 feet into the ground at the top of the slope away from the slide and cantilevered rods over to the 8-inch water line to support it," said Lago. The support structure will ensure that even if the soil drops away from under the water line, it will remain suspended and functional.

"We also have a plan in place if the line becomes endangered again," he said. "We will build a new line next to the 24-inch replacement. It is actually cheaper to do that than to try and save the old one with any further actions if there is another big slide."

Discovered during the ice storm, the current landslide, which threatened the water main, is located on a steep bank of the Hood River below Riverside Drive.

The section of the line in danger was that leading to the trestle bridge which supports the current and future replacement water lines across the Hood River.

"We are pretty confident that this stabilization should hold us through the spring," said Lago. "The danger has diminished greatly."

The landslide was discovered last month during the snow and ice storms that played havoc on the county. Public works staff and other crews worked quickly to stabilize the situation before any damage was done to the water line.

Emergency actions to protect the pipeline has cost the city nearly $300,000, which it hopes will be covered by Federal Emergency Management Agency disaster relief funds. See the FEMA story page A1 details.

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