Water discussions continue flowing at city

Fluoridation, status updates, and county approval were all on tap at a recent meeting.

The King County Council approved the city of Issaquah’s 2018 Water System Update at its Oct. 2 meeting. Issaquah is proceeding with the initial steps of that plan, which includes a water treatment plant that would provide fluoridated water to all city customers.

The city council is still considering whether to fluoridate its water, a question that was deliberated during an Aug. 12 work session, which prompted the request for an expert speaker to provide information on fluoridation safety and current public health policy. Previously, some citizens had raised concerns about fluoridation.

A presentation from a public health expert was scheduled for Sept. 24, but that meeting was canceled. City staff is working to someone from the state Department of Health to present.

Sheldon Lynne, city public works engineering director, gave a brief overview of the plan update, which was approved by the city council in February 2019.

He said the plan identifies the need for a centralized water treatment plant for multiple reasons.

“Some of the major reasons are operational efficiencies and effectiveness in the long term for the utility,” he said.

He said the public works operations department is currently managing four different wells at four different locations that each have different water qualities. By centralizing the source, they could treat all the well water at one place at the same time.

He also said growth projections show water demand in the valley floor area will exceed the capacity of wells. So the department plants to bring in water from Cascade Water Alliance, which gets its water from Seattle Public Utilities.

Cascade water is fluoridated, so the treatment plant would treat the well water to be consistent with regional water quality protocols. Some city residents already receive fluoridated water from Sammamish Plateau Water.

“The council has not yet considered or approved the treatment plant construction project, or allocated funds, or adopted rates to cover the costs,” said Autumn Monahan, assistant to the city administrator.

King County approval is standard for city council approved plans. A letter from King County Executive Dow Constantine said, “this plan supports the economic growth and built environment goals of the King County Strategic Plan by helping to ensure an adequate supply of clean drinking water for county residents.”

Lynne also explained the current status of the project.

“Where we are today is we’re providing information to the city council about fluoride. But we’re also in our very early design phases of the treatment plant,” Lynne said. “We are in the first steps of analyzing the operations of the utility to narrow down a potential location for the treatment plant so that it works the best within the utility. Once that’s done then we’ll have to have conversations with the city council about the land purchases if needed, and we would just continue moving forward.”

Monahan said the plan would put Issaquah water at regular, recommended standards.

“All Issaquah Water customers would receive fluoridated water and that follows the lead of regional water providers and public health agency recommendations as well as best practices for water treatment,” she said.

The council also asked for analysis for including flexibility in the design of the treatment plant for potential changes in the future. For example, if regional water standards change and regional water is no longer fluoridated, Monahan said.

Information regarding fluoridation as well as the water system update plan can be found at the city’s website (https://www.issaquahwa.gov/).

In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@issaquahreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.issaquahreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in News

American Medical Response (AMR) organized a parade of first responders to show appreciation for St. Elizabeth Hospital staff April 30. Photo by Ray Miller-Still/Sound Publishing
The complications of counting COVID deaths in Washington

State relies on results of tests and death certificates in calculating the daily toll of the disease.

Republicans file lawsuit over Inslee’s emergency: ‘Facts, and the science, are clear’

Lawsuit says state has violated Constitutional rights of citizens.

Issaquah City Council, from left: Mayor Mary Lou Pauly, Councilmember Stacy Goodman, Deputy Council President Chris Reh, Council President Victoria Hunt, Councilmember Lindsey Walsh, Councilmember Tola Marts, Councilmember Barbara de Michele, Councilmember Zach Hall. Natalie DeFord/Staff photo
Update: Issaquah takes steps to mitigate revenue shortfall

Staff cuts and other reductions in place will cover over half of the estimated $10 million loss

Issaquah man charged with fraudulently seeking over $1 million in COVID-19 relief

Software engineer sought loans through CARES Act for fictitious tech companies, federal authorities say.

How to report unemployment fraud

The Snoqualmie Police Department and the Washington State Employment Security Department (ESD)… Continue reading

One dead in Issaquah shooting

Update: initial investigation suggests shooting was unintentional

Among the candidates for Washington state governor in 2020: (Top row, L-R): Omari Tahir Garrett, Winston Wilkes, Thor Amundson, Cameron Vessey, Martin ‘Iceman’ Wheeler, Ryan Ryals; (middle row L-R): Liz Hallock, Goodspaceguy, Gov. Jay Inslee, Don Rivers, Gene Hart; (bottom row L-R): Phil Fortunato, Tim Eyman, Alex Tsimerman, Cairo D’Almeida, Cregan Newhouse, Raul Garcia.
GOP gubernatorial hopefuls aim to oust Inslee amid COVID-19

Former Bothell mayor Joshua Freed and initiative-pusher Tim Eyman could be the front-runners.

Nonprofit launches new online COVID-19 local resource hub for King County

Hub collects links for more than 300 local resources for people affected by virus.

The Regional Homelessness Authority was created by agreement in December 2019. Pictured: King County Executive Dow Constantine shakes hands with Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan. Courtesy photo
Regional homelessness authority takes first step amid COVID-19

The authority held its first meeting on Thursday.

Most Read