The 2011 earthquake in Japan resulted in heightened awareness of potential damage from a large earthquake off the Oregon Coast. In response to increased concern, the Water Board is investigating methods of improving the resiliency of water storage and distribution infrastructure. A significant step forward will be a seismic analysis of both the Upper Pony Creek Dam in the summer of 2015 and Merritt Dam in the spring of 2016.
The Water Board began increasing the replacement rate of galvanized iron water mains in January of 2008. These mains are generally 2-inch diameter. Most were installed in the 1950's, and internal and external corrosion of the mains causes reduced available service flow and frequent main breaks. Since 2008, Water Board crews have completed twenty projects replacing 7,600 feet of galvanized iron water main.
Five other projects planned during the next several months include replacement of 2-inch diameter galvanized iron main on Minnesota Avenue, 7th Avenue, North 11th, and Barham Terrace in Coos Bay, and Isabelle Avenue in North Bend.