Medical Lake talks to Spokane about emergency water intertie
Medical Lake has been meeting with the city of Spokane to hook up an intertie to a water main as an emergency source of water for the summer.
The water main, owned by Spokane, is located on SR 902 less than 500 feet from one of the four wells Medical Lake draws its water.
City Administrator Doug Ross said Medical Lake would tap into Spokane’s water main only as a backup.
According to Ross, Medical Lake and Spokane have been in negotiations for several years. Although the physical work of putting a booster station and valve under the highway would not take long, the political process is more time consuming. Discussions between the two cities started up again a month ago.
“Spokane wants to be protective of their water while Medical Lake is making sure they are entering into an agreement that benefits the city,” Ross said. “Both jurisdictions want to make sure they’re comfortable with what they’re doing.”
Besides the wells, the only water the city receives is the surface runoff from snow and rain. Medical Lake lies in a closed basin and does not receive any run off from streams or mountains.
Since 2007, the city has pumped over 200 million gallons of water every year. In 2013, the city used 258,570,300 gallons of water, which is 100,000 more than in 2012.
Ross said that a lot of water is used for agriculture outside of the city limits.
“We’ve all got our straws in the same bowl of water,” he said.
Ross said the city of Spokane would draft an agreement and bring it to their City Council before bringing it to Medical Lake. The agreement would only be for emergency tie-ins and the city would not rely on Spokane as their sole water source.
“What we’ve asked for is to have the water available when we need it,” Ross said. “We’re trying to make sure our citizens have a solid water supply for many years to come.”
Al Stover can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.