Cheney Free Press -

By Grace Pohl
Staff Intern 

H2O deal

Airway Heights and Spokane agree on details of another water system intertie


April 26, 2018

Airway Heights

Airway Heights extended a water agreement with the city of Spokane that includes a new water intertie at Craig and McFarlane roads. This is due to the loss of water the city faced when they were forced to turn off Wells 1, 4 and 9 after the PFOS/PFOA chemical contamination last year.

Airway Heights has had some history in the water business and the council set into motion an agreement with the city of Spokane to extend that for two more years. The amendment has already been in place for years, but Airway Heights is constructing a new intertie with Spokane in the meantime while trying to find a permanent solution to their water supply issue.

City Manager Albert Tripp, city attorney Stanley Schwartz and Public Works Director Kevin Anderson have been negotiating with Spokane to amend their existing water supply agreement since last July.

The reason behind the amendment was to have an additional intertie with Spokane that would replace the lost quantities from when the city was forced to turn off Wells 1, 4 and 9 after the PFOS/PFOA chemical contamination last year. The period is up to two years, with the capability to extend the agreement up the three while Airway Heights is working with the U.S. Air Force on other long-term solutions.

The intertie is set to be constructed soon, within the May and June time frame.

The amended water supply agreement keeps in place the existing connection at Hayford Road and Highway 2 with a rate of 1,500 gallons per minute. The new intertie will connect to the city of Spokane line located at Craig and McFarlane roads with an amount of 1,400 GPM, but will reach up to 2,900 GPM during the summer. The plan is intended to be temporary until Airway Heights is able to develop an independent water supply system.

The cost to Airway Heights will include purchasing a tap, constructing a vault and paying a general facility charge. The cost of water from Spokane will be initially done by Airway Heights with a reimbursement from the U.S. Air Force. The city had an agreement with the Air Force back in the fall that included the military paying the city for up to 439.08 million gallons of clean tap water, around $687,000 in a year.

The Airway Heights City Council approved this agreement on April 2 at their meeting. The Spokane City Council had to also approve of the amendment, which was given on April 9.

Grace Pohl can be reached at


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