WALLOWA – The recently funded $3.6 million water improvement project for the city of Wallowa will, when completed, solve a seasonal water problem in the city’s water system that peaks every August.

Travis Goebel, public works supervisor for Wallowa, says every year at this time, during evening hours, the demand for water to irrigate lawns is greater than the system’s ability to refill the city’s water storage tanks with water from the city well.

When the new upgrade is installed, says Goebel, that problem will be gone. If current plans are adhered to, project bids for the improvement project will be solicited this year with work commencing early in 2013.

Although projections do not anticipate the project being completed until late in 2013, Goebel holds out hope that the portion of that upgrade specifically impacting water supply to water storage tanks will be completed before August of next year.

The Wallowa city council has limited irrigation hours to 5-9 a.m. and 5-9 p.m. each day, and Goebel says the low-flow problem does not present itself in the morning hours because fewer people are awake at that time to water their lawns.

Compounding the problem for the city maintenance crew have been problems over the past two weeks with the transducer at the city tank, the piece of equipment that governs the operations of pumps.

Goebel, also a member of the Wallowa Volunteer Fire Department, admits the possibility exists of a water shortage were a large fire encountered at the wrong time of day.

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