Monday, June 9, 2014

6/9/14 4:45 pm Two Bulls Fire - City Watershed Remains Safe

The Two Bulls Fire has still not reached the City of Bend’s Bridge Creek watershed nor is it jeopardizing the City’s “Outback” drinking water facilities.

The Bridge Creek watershed is where the City gets most of its domestic water supply, fed by gravity to the City. The City shut down the surface water on Saturday night as a protective measure, and has been pumping water only from groundwater wells since.

The Outback facility is where the City treats and distributes water from Bridge Creek. It’s also home to seven of the City’s 22 groundwater wells. Outback is about 9 miles east of the watershed. The fire is about 1.5 miles north of the Outback site. 

Today, the south border of the fire had a line – a buffer of clear ground - around it that provides protection. There’s still active fire in that south area but the line should hold it.

The City shuts off its surface water when turbidity – a measurement of sediment-generated cloudiness – reaches a certain level. The turbidity measurement is currently below that threshold.

The City hopes to have the Bridge Creek surface water source back on in a few days. The City can turn that source back on if water quality allows. Water quality can be affected by fire behavior and spring run-off. Today, despite the fire, the turbidity (a measurement of cloudiness) was below the threshold for shutting down Bridge Creek source.

Groundwater wells can supply the City’s domestic water needs, but the City is encouraging its Bend water customers to conserve water and minimize irrigation. If it’s necessary to irrigate, it is best to do so during off-peak hours (when it is dark outside).

Anne Aurand | Community Relations Manager
City of Bend

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