Monday, July 15, 2024

DEQ approves Moyie Springs emergency water main replacement

Staff Writer | June 27, 2024 1:00 AM

MOYIE SPRINGS — The Department of Environmental Quality approved the city of Moyie Springs’ emergency water main replacement project Wednesday, June 26. 

On June 12, the city of Moyie Springs received a  temporary easement with Idaho Forestry Group at the Moyie mill property through which the 1,000-foot water main will pass. 

The city is rerouting its main waterline after the waterline failed on March 24, causing a landslide down a cliff above the Kootenai River. After a suggestion from staff, the city council approved an alternative route to access the city’s wells, by way of the IFG property. 

The city had to wait for final approval by the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality before construction could begin. 

Although Moyie Springs has declared a state of emergency giving the mayor special powers, the decided to wait for DEQ’s approval since the agency provided a $130,840 low-interest drinking water construction loan to the city.

“If we built without DEQ’s permission, we could lose emergency funding,” Wilson-Funkhouser said. “We still have to follow their rules, or else we will have to re-do the process”

The city of Moyie Springs and its residents have been buying water from Three Mile Water District since the waterline failed. That purchase has cost the city over $100,000, as it has used over 26 million gallons of water from Three Mile. 

While Moyie is paying more than if they still had access to their wells, Wilson-Funkhouser said the city is more than grateful for Three-Mile assistance. She added that Moyie hooking up to Three Mile has put a strain on the other water district. 

Moyie Springs is still under water conservation status. 

Construction on the water main will begin Thursday, June 27. 

Moyie Springs Public Works Supervisor John Nelson has said it will only take about three days to complete the waterline project. When the waterline is installed, water testing will take place for 24 hours, before the city will begin serving residents. 

The next regular Moyie Springs City Council meeting is scheduled for July 3 at 7 p.m. at City Hall, 3331 Roosevelt Road.