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4 thoughts on “Water program budget slashed despite alarming groundwater report

  1. “They want a top-notch study, but we don’t have the money to do a top-notch study.”

    Well if we can’t get the right information, it’s only PRUDENT to cut WAY back on development and err on the side of caution. It’s WAY past time to WAKE UP!

  2. I agree with Ramone completely, My apologies for the length of my comment but the taxpayer need to get a complete picture of how their dollars are being spent.

    I had a nice calm discussion with the mayor late this afternoon and explained to her my concerns with the lack of response on a rebuttal article by the city. Now that the Sun is out today with a second article titled (Water Supply Worries Worsen) it may be too late to correct the perception of some people. People will remember the first article (Islands Water Supply Getting Scarcer) and the reference to the IUC Well 1 and its decline from 40 feet to 25 feet in 20 years and that is what they will remember and build on.

    Just for some of you that are unaware of our production wells here is some information for you.

    Our Well 1 has only been used as a monitoring well since 1999, it is not as reported in the Aspect report and the newspaper a high production high out put well.

    Neither Well 1 (it serves no one) nor Island Utility serves most of the Eagledale area. IUC would love to serve Eagledale as it is an area where the shallow wells are in trouble. That is a fact commonly known to the state and county health departments. Over 95 percent of our service now exists to the South of Eagledale and our wells are located ¼ mile East of Blakely Ave not in Eagledale.

    Our current wells are drilled to 1015 feet deep with a static level of 111 feet below the surface of the ground. If you take a fifteen foot drop out of them then we would be at 126 feet. This leaves 889 feet of water in the casing with our pumps set at 550 feet deep. It is hardly a picture of alarm. Well 1 is drilled to 960 feet deep.

    IUC furnishes well soundings and production data to the PUD and have been since before I took over management in 1997 as a public service and in recognition of our need to be a part of the whole picture. IUC could have abandoned well 1 in 1999 and stopped the flow of data but we made the choice to continue the stream of data. We understand it is important to know what the trends are in our water supply. A city program with 2 years of data has not shown us anything we have not already been tracking.

    Even though our water level appears to be trending downward, no one from the city or Aspect Consulting contacted us to get production data or to confirm their information. If they had they would have found a company that is committed to diligently protecting our water supply and protecting its customers. Instead what we got for our commitment to providing this important data is a black eye and false information in print. In fact even though IUC is growing and our water production has substantially increased the rate of decline is stabilizing.

    Much of this unfortunate waste of time and public fiasco could have been avoided if the parties involved in the gathering of information and the writing of the report had had the professional courtesy to come to us and ask us for confirmation of what they thought were facts. The city’s consultant should also never have spoken to a reporter about a report paid for and sponsored by the city without the express permission of the city.

    IUC has learned a lot in our dealings with the city recently first by stepping up and wasting several days of our time by trying to help out public works with the Rockaway Beach / Internment Memorial Park project, that was a fiasco that even left health shaking their heads over the city’s decisions and then one month later in the way the city turned its back on us when we were publicly embarrassed in the paper with information gleaned from an incomplete and inaccurate report sponsored by the city.

    By the way, IUC was just issued our updated water permits from the Washington State Department of Ecology without new conditions or restrictions. I trust that they have the expertise over there to help protect our water resources after all they are only entrusted with the entire states water resource.


    Scott Shelton


    Island Utility Company

  3. “. . .water use on the island, which is supplied solely by rain-fed aquifers . . .”

    The Suns need to do a little more work on your reporting before including misleading statements such as this. The chicken-little-we-have-no-water-crowd would like you to believe that the only water we have is that which falls from the sky onto our little island, but it simply is not true.

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