Why Do We Need Improvements

An investment in our future

In the next 20 years, our growing population will require a bigger water system…but our current water system cannot handle this growth. Old pipes need to be replaced with bigger ones so that we can deliver more water to the homes and businesses that need it. Our current water plan will replace more than 25% of our system in the next 20 years.

Past, present and future water development for our community.


Smaller pipes installed more than 50 years ago are now corroding and leaking. More than 25% of our system needs  immediate replacement.


Many of our water mains are too small to meet commercial and industrial fire safety needs. They must be replaced with bigger ones to enable new homes and businesses to move in.


Smaller pipes provide enough water to douse a residential fire…but fighting a big industrial fire requires a lot more water—more than our current system can handle.

Improving our water system is an urgent need

Aging Infrastructure

Pipes installed in the 1930s are now 50 years beyond their projected life span. We have 198,000 feet (38 miles) of pipe that is up to 50 years past its life expectancy! These pipes can no longer handle extreme pressure and are vulnerable to breaks.

Leaking Pipes

We lose as much as 35% of the water that flows into our system due to leaky pipes. This results in a loss of water pressure in key parts of the system. New pipes will solve this problem and conserve water.

Limited Capacity for Economic Growth

New residents and businesses want to come here. But we cannot let them build because our current pipes are too small to meet the water volume they demand, and meet fire protection standards. We need bigger pipes so that we can grow.


What happens if a home, business or even a forest area lights on fire? We must have adequate water volume in our fire hydrants to douse a fire quickly. Bigger pipes will assure us that we have adequate water pressure and volume to fight a big commercial fire, protecting our schools, businesses and homes.

State Requirements

Before we can grow as a community, we must meet all of the federal and state requirements for water quality, fire support and safety and financial stability. An upgraded water system sets the stage for generations of growth and development.

New, larger pipes and two new reservoirs will provide…

More Jobs

New businesses want to move here but we cannot allow them until our water system can handle the growth. Bigger pipes will allow economic growth so that businesses can move here and provide jobs.

Better Safety

The major roadblock to economic growth is to ensure the safety of homes and businesses in the case of fire. Our current system, in some areas, does not meet state requirement for water volume. This MUST be fixed now.

Environmental Protection

New reservoirs and other system improvements will make sure enough water flows in our streams to protect fish and wildlife.

Business Growth

Improved capacity will allow for new homes and businesses, making it possible for families to stay here and grow.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, the Oregon Health Authority annual water quality report indicates our water quality is excellent.

According to our tests and annual Drinking Water Quality Report, the water from Crystal Springs is free from harmful chemicals often found in aging water systems.

Water is tested on a monthly basis at either upper or lower locations. See our Health & Safety page for reports. Water quality is evaluated by taste, odor and color. If your water does not taste right, of it is smells or is colored, you should notify us immediately.

No. There may be some disruption in the flow of water to your home, in which case we will notify you, but the quality of water will not be affected.

Residential fires require about 1,000 to 2,000 gallons to put out. This is readily available through hydrants or the fire engines which each hold 1000 gallons and our tanker trucks which hold 3000 gallons.

Our challenge is that our original pipes are to some businesses are not big to carry the required water volume and pressure to adequately fight commercial fires or forest fires. This is why new businesses are unable to move to our area. The solution is to increase the size of the pipes in commercial areas so that fire engines can be properly supplied in the case of a big fire.

We will miss opportunities for new businesses and neighbors. We must prepare a better future for our businesses, our children and our grandchildren.

Our Water Master Plan in 1990 and again in 2006 indicated a need for various projects to be completed, and we have made much progress over the years without raising rates. In 1996 and in 2006, we experienced major flooding that caused damage our reservoirs and blew out several water mains. These emergencies set us back on our timeline, and now we are working hard to catch up.

With the projected improvements over the next 10 years, our rates will grow so we can maintain our reservoir and distribution systems. See our Rates page for more information.

cswdadminWhy Do We Need Improvements