Emergency moratorium on new McCormick water connections in place

Port Orchard working with Bremerton, developers to find solution

Port Orchard city officials issued an emergency moratorium during the City Council meeting June 11 to pause all building permits that require a new water connection in the McCormick development area of the city.

The action was taken after the Port Orchard water department discovered the city is overextended on the number of water connections it has issued for parts of the McCormick development area.

As part of a facilities plan update undertaken by the city’s water department in 2017, outside water consultants who were hired by the city found that a combination of water storage capacity issues, a potential supply shortage and the need to upgrade Bremerton’s Anderson pump station to ensure uninterrupted water supply, has adversely impacted the areas served in McCormick’s 580 and 660 water-service zones.

“Now that we are aware that we have an issue in the 580 and 660 zones, we need to work hard to find a solution,” Mayor Rob Putaansuu said.

Putaansuu said the city’s first step is to make sure the water facilities problem isn’t compounded by continuing to allow new connections “when we are already beyond our maximum capacity.”

The moratorium to pause all building permits in the 580 and 660 service areas requiring a new water connection “is a necessary first step,” the mayor said.

He said the city is committed to finding a solution to the water issue so that the affected areas will have the necessary supplies it needs for both household and fire usage.

Compounding the issue is that Port Orchard and the city of Bremerton share a reservoir system. Port Orchard has wells to provide water for the shared reservoir and Bremerton has a larger well that supplies water to the 580 and 660 water-system zones.

Putaansuu said it is too early to determine when the moratorium will be lifted.

“We’ve got to come to agreements on what can get built and when,” he said. “It’s pretty fluid right now.”

Port Orchard’s mayor said he spoke with Bremerton Mayor Greg Wheeler on Tuesday and meetings have been scheduled for June 17. Affected developers also have been part of the discussions, Putaansuu said, and they will be involved in future meetings.

“We have developers affected and the connections are happening very quickly. There are planned improvements in the future and the housing market is pretty hot,” he said. “So, we’ve got to work collaboratively with the development community and the cities.

“This is probably our next big capital project for the city.”

He said the city is scheduling a public hearing July 23 to take testimony from residents about the moratorium.

More in News

Rep. Appleton will retire at end of term in 2021

Sherry Appleton will retire as representative for Washington’s 23rd Legislative District at… Continue reading

(photo from Suquamish Tribe)
Suquamish Foundation celebrates giving on Indigenous Peoples Day

On Indigenous Peoples Day, the Suquamish Tribe released a new video showcasing… Continue reading

Manchester wastewater treatment plant is ‘outstanding’

State recognizes outstanding performance at Manchester, Kingston plants

Paige Stringer shows her own hearing aids to Mongolian child.
Poulsbo resident earns recognition from World of Children

Poulsbo resident Paige Stringer received the 2019 World of Children Health Award… Continue reading

Independent wins 13 awards at WNPA ceremony

Smith takes 12 editorial and photo awards for 2019

(l-r) Dr. Ani Fleisig and Diane Munroe at T-Mobile Park, where Diane got to throw out the first pitch at the Mariners game. (photo courtesy of Diane Munroe)
3D technology saves Poulsbo woman’s life

Thanks to the introduction of three-dimensional mammography at CHI Franciscan in Burien,… Continue reading

Man arrested in Bremerton after allegedly conducting a series of burglaries

Burglaries included stealing packages off porches and vehicle prowling

Southworth fast ferry service update at meeting

The community meeting is Oct. 26 at Harper Church in Port Orchard

Fathoms O’ Fun royalty scholarship program seeking applicants

Potential Royalty Court candidates being sought from among 6th through 12th graders in South Kitsap.

Most Read