KENNEWICK, Wash. — The Kennewick Irrigation District issued an emergency Monday for the 2022 irrigation season due to an “unprecedented number” of broken water mains.
Trunks are pipes that run from the pump station to the KID irrigation service on the customer’s property.
With many main lines broken at Kennewick, the Kennewick Irrigation District.
Normally, KID takes two to three weeks to flush the pipes, leaving 1,500 of Kennewick’s 25,000 customers without water.
One such person is Richard Caspersen.
“My water just turned on Monday. But I was concerned because a lot of my neighbors’ jobsites are taking the water outage badly,” Caspersen said.
This urgency would allow Kennewick to bring in outside help to repair these lines.
“I heard these workers were working ten hour days,” Caspersen said.
Jason McShane, director of engineering and operations for the Kennewick Irrigation District, says KID crews have been working almost 7 days a week to fix the broken pipes as quickly as possible.
The watering season begins once the temperatures are no longer freezing. Usually the pipes are broken due to freezing temperatures and repaired by KID at the start of the season.
However, KID carried out more damage than usual.
The cause? Contractors installing high speed internet conduits.
Outside help will include hiring companies familiar with irrigation repairs.
The contractors who installed these high-speed conduits by drilling and trenchless excavation.
Boring is a cutting process that uses a single point cutter or boring head to enlarge a hole in the workpiece.
Trenchless excavation uses techniques to install or replace underground infrastructure without disturbing the ground above.
Residents complained of having to pay their irrigation bill when they did not receive water due to the outages.
“We charge people a flat rate based on their property and that rate applies every month regardless of how much water you use or don’t use.” said Matthew Berglund, KID’s public relations coordinator, “We can’t charge people based on how much water they use because that would be a metered measurement and it’s way too expensive for us.”
KID hopes the water outages will be fixed by the end of next week.
To see if your area is affected by a water outage, view the water condition map here.