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SODAVILLE — The city of Sodaville is getting serious about finding an alternative to running low on well water every summer.

Officials from Sodaville, Sweet Home and Linn County will meet at 2 p.m. Thursday at the Sodaville City Hall, 30723 Sodaville Road, to discuss the possibility of developing a water line between Lebanon and Sodaville.

In a letter to Linn County Commissioner Will Tucker, Sodaville city administrator Judy Smith said the city’s well has not been able to keep a 150,000 gallon water tank full for several years. Sodaville has hauled water from Lebanon each summer for several years.

Smith said hauling started in July and so far, the city has purchased about 800,000 gallons from its neighboring city.

“The majority of the cost is the trucking,” Smith said. “Each truck holds about 3,800 gallons. We usually start seeing more water in the wells about January and then it all starts over again.”

Smith said the city is looking at two options:

— Developing a sixth well and adding a 75,000-gallon reservoir. Smith said property has been researched and a 72-hour water test has been conducted. She said estimated cost is about $1 million.

— Developing a water line with the city of Lebanon.

“We received a $500,000 Emergency Community Water Assistance grant through the U.S. Department of Agriculture,” Smith said. “We used about $130,000 to rehabilitate the wells, including new pipes, pumps, wiring and liners. That was completed about two years ago, but it really didn’t help much. We just don’t have the water available.”

Currently, the city has five wells that are up to 400 feet deep. The single reservoir is 30-feet tall and holds 150,000 gallons.

Smith said residents use about 15,000 gallons of water per day.

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Since July, the city has operated under water restrictions including no watering of lawns, no sprinklers or underground drip systems, no filling of swimming pools and no washing of cars, decks, buildings or sidewalks. 

Watering gardens has been allowed.

A preliminary meeting was held in early November. Attending were Ron Whitlatch, acting Lebanon city manager; Sodaville Mayor Suzie Hibbert, Stan Smith, Sodaville public works director; Holly Halligan of the U.S. Department of Agriculture; Melissa Murphy of the Governor’s Regional Task Force and Business Oregon; and Smith.

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Wayne Gresh of Carollo Engineering is expected to attend Thursday’s meeting as well.

Smith said the first meeting was primarily to determine if the city of Lebanon would be interested in a pipeline project.

“Thursday’s meeting is to actually scope out what that project might look like,” Smith said. “We need to determine what kind of funds we’d be looking at.”

According to Smith, the proposed pipeline would run from Cascade Drive through Lebanon, along Linn County via Sodaville Road to the city of Sodaville.

Tuesday morning, the Linn County Board of Commissioners approved the use of county rights-of-way for the project if it comes to fruition.

Linn County Roadmaster Darrin Lane said the county does this type of thing “all of the time. It’s really not a big deal.”

Lane said the county would issue permits without a fee due to state laws concerning waterline projects.

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