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During the past seven years, the City of North Bend has actively pursued water conservation through ongoing distribution system leak reduction efforts, customer conservation education, and the 2020 Water Conservation Ordinance.
A recent North Bend Water Service Meters vs. Water Production Analysis prepared by consultant engineer firm Gray & Osborne shows that City and resident conservation efforts are seeing results – evidenced by reduced water production even with a growing number of City water customers.
In 2000, the City of North Bend had 1,700 water meters, which grew to over 2,400 in 2020. In 2000 the City produced 220 million gallons of water to serve customers. In comparison, two decades later – and with 700 additional service meters - the City reduced water production to approximately 200 million gallons to serve its customers.
How is this possible? There’s a new environmental ethic – conservation.
A beneficial factor in achieving lower water use is the amount of new construction homes in the City, which include building code mandated low-flow fixtures and toilets, low water usage appliances and drip irrigation systems. Existing older buildings will have the opportunity to convert their fixtures, appliances and irrigation systems through a new Water Saving Partnership mentioned below.
The City also set aggressive conservation goals to address leakage in its distribution system, which includes replacing aging concrete asbestos watermains and customer water meters in older neighborhoods. So far this year alone, Public Works crews have replaced an average of 50 meters per month – a pace that will continue throughout 2021. Additionally, 10 miles of watermain have been replaced and engineering design for the upcoming NE 6th Street and Pickett Avenue watermain replacements, are underway.
In May 2020, the City enacted a Water Conservation Ordinance in conjunction with an ongoing citizen conservation education campaign. Residents are understanding and doing their part to conserve this limited natural resource. Water conservation combined with the mitigation requirement to pump cold, clean, natural water into the Snoqualmie River establishes North Bend as a model city for environmental conservation.
Mayor Rob McFarland extended his thanks to the North Bend community saying, “Without the efforts of our citizens this notable reduction in water production vs. service meters would not be possible. Numbers don’t lie. Our citizens are using less water and the City is improving its distribution system, which is a big win for our surrounding environment and the Snoqualmie River.”
Later this summer the City will join the Saving Water Partnership that will provide tips, tools and rebates to residents to preserve the region’s water for future generations. North Bend residents will soon be able to receive money saving rebates for upgrading their home’s older fixtures and appliances to more water-efficient models.