MWD fights to make clean water, boil water notice in effect

Board members needed, next meeting Monday, March 13

UPDATE MARCH 9 1:30 P.M.: MWD rescinded it's boil water notice with the following statement:

Customers of the Mapleton Water District may safely consume water without boiling. The precautionary boil notice was issued on Saturday, March 4 due to a loss of pressure to some customers. Testing results have confirmed that water produced and distributed by the district is safe to drink.

March 8, 2023 — The troubles for the Mapleton Water District (MWD) continue.

After outages Saturday, March 4, the district has water flowing again but because of pressure problems, as of press deadlines, a boil water notice is in effect.

There were more outages on Monday, March 6; according to Board of Directors Chair Vanessa West, they were the result of problems where the water flows from Berkshire Creek into the district’s treatment plant.

“Thanks to Ronney, Brian and two other local volunteers, the intake is unplugged,” said West in one of the many Facebook updates she provided throughout the weekend. “Luckily it wasn’t a tree this time — leaves plugged the intake. Joe cleaned the intake and slowed down the suction so less leaves would plug it. The plant luckily started right back up without causing any issues. For now- we are pumping water at full capacity again. Let’s hope the skid plays nice throughout the night. Who knows what tomorrow holds.”

After the outages on Saturday, the district issued a boil water notice and the following statement:

“We've been having some issues with our clarifying tank pump. It went out on March 1 which reduced the rate of production to about seventy gallons per minute. Yesterday Rain for Rent, from which the district rents its clarifying tank, replaced its pump which will increase the water plant's output to a normal 140 gallons per minute. At this rate we should be able to make some gain in terms of our storage tank capacity. We are on a boil notice currently due to this loss of pressure.  Once pressure has been restored to all customers we will do some testing, which will hopefully result in the lifting of the boil notice.”

Adding to the challenges faced by MWD the board is currently two directors short. The district is seeking interested residents to serve remaining terms of the vacant board positions.

Two of the five positions are currently vacant. Those appointed would serve until June 30, 2023 when new members elected in the May 16, 2023 election would take office.

“The board has seen three resignations this year for various personal reasons and has only been able to appoint one replacement in that time,” said the MWD in a news release. “This leaves the board in a tenuous position. If another board member determines they are unable to serve, the vacancies must be filled by the Lane County Board of Commissioners.”

Prospective board members must be registered voters within the district’s boundaries. Regular board meetings take place once a month, though there are occasional additional meetings.

Residents interested in being appointed to serving the remainder of the two vacant positions may notify the district by mail at:

PO Box 435

Mapleton, OR 97453

or by email at [email protected].

Alternatively, residents interested in participating may attend the regular board meeting at 6 p.m. on March 13 at the Mapleton Lions Club kitchen which is located at 88148 Riverview Ave.

There are also four board positions open for the May 16 primary election. Three positions are for a full four-year term, and one is to complete the remaining two years of a vacant position. Candidates must file their candidacy with the Lane County Elections Division by March 16.

The board is also seeking volunteers for special purpose committees such as emergency planning, grant writing, as well as the budget committee. Interested residents can notify the board using the contact methods listed above.

At its Feb. 21 meeting ,the MWD Board of Directors voted to move the regular monthly meeting from the second Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. the second Monday at 6 p.m.

The next meeting is Monday, March 13 at 6 p.m. at the Mapleton Lions Club, 88148 Riverview Ave. The public is encouraged to participate.

As of press deadlines the boil water notice was still in effect meaning customers should boil water for a full one minute before consuming.

For updates contact MWD at 541-268-4348, email [email protected] or call Board Chair West at 541-999-9778.