P.O. Box 500
1492 Wind River Hwy
Carson, Washington 98610

Phone: 509-427-5126
Toll-Free 800-922-5329

Manager’s Message – March/April 2018

Greetings from John Goodman, the new Skamania PUD General Manager. I’ve been here for about ten months now and very much enjoy working with all the Skamania PUD family.

After last year’s storms this winter has thus far been much easier for the PUD to endure.  We’ve had a few small outages caused by limbs and trees coming down during windstorms, but fortunately no ice issues. Our tree crew continues to trim back trees and brush around the PUD’s power lines throughout the county to help minimize future outages.

The PUD has had a busy year working on upgrade projects throughout the county. For the Electric System, the design is complete for a rebuild of the Carson Substation and a 2-mile section of distribution power lines feeding the Stabler area. This will allow us to improve the quality of our service, increase the amount of power available in Stabler, and reduce some of the energy losses we encounter in the distribution of power. Construction for both projects will occur this summer. At the same time your PUD crews will be replacing over 5 ½ miles of buried underground cables throughout the county.  We have been experiencing many outages caused by these old, end of life buried cables from the 1970s, so the cable replacement program will greatly improve power reliability.

For the Carson Water System we are just finishing construction of the new Brooks Reservoir. This 400,000-gallon reservoir improves water reliability, provides added water storage and additional fire protection for the community south of the High Bridge. We are also updating some of our controls and monitoring systems.  The old system used paper graphs to record the output of monitoring equipment, which required that operators manually check the data during daily site visits.  Operators only had a phone connection to let them know the system was out of spec, kind of like the idiot lights in your car.  The new upgraded systems report the actual outputs constantly via the web, so the PUD operators can see how the system is performing on their computers or smart phones at any time, thus avoiding unnecessary trips to the treatment plant and allowing operators to identify and fix issues before they become a problem. The Carson Water System is also conducting a study, fully funded by a Department of Health grant, to investigate the long-term water supply options for the water system.

For the Underwood Water System, we are finalizing the design for upgrading the Shepeard tank and pump station. The project, scheduled to start in early summer, will increase capacity and reliability for the Underwood Water System as well as improve the water system’s disinfection facilities and communication capabilities.

PUD Commissioners and staff are currently developing a Strategic Plan to establish a coordinated method to allocate resources and guide our activities. A draft of the plan will be available on our website this spring for your review and comment. So, the bottom line is that your PUD is in the process of upgrading much of the aging infrastructure in a planned, methodical manner.  It didn’t get old in a short time and the upgrading will take some years to accomplish, but we have a plan in place to accomplish this work.