Staff Reporter 

Airway Heights officials: 'Much ado about nothing'

Water conservation statement retracted after project clarifications


Last updated 5/16/2019 at 8:55am

Airway Heights residents were alarmed over the weekend when the city’s Public Works Department announced that one of two interties with Spokane was to be shut down for relocation and asked all residents to begin conserving water immediately.

That alarm quickly turned to relief when city staff amended their statement on Monday, May 13, saying water operations could resume as normal because the intertie connection relocation would be completed in phases, with some to take place at a later date.

The original announcement, which came via a Facebook post on Friday, May 10, asked residents to conserve water as much as possible through the end of the month by changing lawn watering schedules and watching for faucet leaks. City staff apologized for the late announcement and assured citizens that they were working hard to ensure water services were not disrupted.

“We rely so much on those interties that if those go out, we have to use backup sources,” Airway Heights Public Works Director Kevin Anderson said.

City of Spokane officials initially said the line feeding the intertie installed last year would need to be shut down and moved because the Washington State Department of Transportation was installing a new roundabout near the Amazon facility on Geiger Boulevard.

Airway Heights Public Works staff were told that process could take anywhere from a few days to three weeks, which could have lowered the city’s water supply significantly, Anderson said. Due to that uncertainty, a staff member chose to “take action” and post cautionary measures online, he said.

However, the project will now be completed in stages, with valves being put in place last week and additional work to be done at a later date. That additional work will only require the intertie be shut down for a few hours, Anderson said.

“Really, it was much ado about nothing,” Anderson said. “We’re actually in a pretty good place in terms of (water) quantity.”

Shannen Talbot can be reached at


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