Q&A: Little Mountain Road Waterline Extension

Posted Wednesday, March 11, 2020

As part of the 2019 State Capital Budget, Skagit PUD was able to secure $1.3 million in funding for a waterline extension on Little Mountain Road. The project will bring water for domestic use to people in the Skagit River Basin and allow for future development in the area for landowners who currently do not have legal access to water.

The award will fund the design of the project, as well as related land acquisition and a public outreach effort to solicit local input.

We wish to thank state Sen. Barbara Bailey, R-Oak Harbor, who helped deliver a significant investment for 10th District constituents unable to drill permit-exempt wells for domestic use.

The pipeline project addresses Skagit County’s water-access issues resulting from a 2001 Department of Ecology rule establishing minimum instream flow requirements for the Skagit River. Due to these regulations, domestic wells were restricted in most of the Skagit River watershed.

The PUD has received numerous inquiries from property owners in the area asking about the project. We plan to hold a community meeting later this summer to further update the community on our progress.

Answers to questions about the Little Mountain Road Waterline Project

Where will the pipeline extension start and end?

The project will begin at the intersection of Little Mountain Road and East Blackburn Road, and end at the intersection of Little Mountain Road and Amick Road.

The PUD has no plans for any additional extensions on nearby roads such as Amick Road or Criddle Lane. It is possible that private landowners or developers could fund additional extensions on nearby roads in the future. See map>

What is included in the project?

The current design includes a connection to an existing District pipeline near the intersection of Little Mountain Road and East Blackburn Road, approximately three miles of pipeline and a booster pumping station. A pressure reducing station will be installed near the intersection of Little Mountain Road and Amick Road where the project will connect to an existing PUD pipeline. 

Conduit will also be installed in the trench for future fiber optic service. The PUD is assessing potential alternatives to the booster pumping station, such as additional waterline connections near the existing water system that could provide the required water pressure.

How much will the project cost?

The estimated total project cost is $6 million, in 2019 dollars.

Where is the funding coming from?

Skagit PUD will receive $1.3 million from the 2019 State Capital Budget for project design, property acquisition and public outreach. The PUD will apply for the remaining $4.7 million in next year’s Capital Budget. All money is in the form of a grant, which is not required to be reimbursed to the State.

When will the project be completed?

Design is expected to begin in 2019. If construction money is secured in 2020, construction is estimated to be completed in 2021 or 2022.

Will area property owners be required to pay for the project?

No. The money for the design phase of the project was received from the State in the 2019 Capital Budget. We plan to make another request to the State for the remaining $4.7 million to complete the construction.

Will property owners that currently have wells be required to abandon their wells?

Skagit PUD does not have the authority to require abandonment of private wells by property owners. If a property owner with a well chooses to connect to the new waterline, the PUD may require certain types of plumbing equipment, such as a backflow prevention assembly, to protect the public water system from potential contamination sources.

State law requires Skagit County to review permit applications to ensure legal and physical availability of an adequate water supply for the proposed use or building, and to ensure that the proposed use will not degrade surface water and groundwater resources. It is possible that Skagit County may have restrictions on continued use of a private well for certain proposed uses if a public water system is available.

For additional information, contact Skagit County Planning and Development Services at (360) 416-1320.

How much will it cost to connect to the new pipeline?

Costs vary depending on the size of the meter. For property owners that want to connect to the new pipeline, please see Water Rates & Fees.

You may also call the PUD’s Engineering Department at (360) 848-4469.