East Spokane Water District #1 is located along the south edge of the Spokane Valley. The area served is south of Sprague Avenue and generally between Park Road on the east and Eastern Road on the west.
The District was formed on July 17, 1917 by the order of Spokane County Commissioners as the result of a petition presented by voters desiring to form East Spokane Water District. First Board of Directors consisted of D.S. McDonald, G.G. Merchen and G. Schiermeyer, who were the three men elected by the residents of the district. By-laws of the District were adopted by the Directors on September 29, 1917.
At the time the district was formed, some residents were supplied water from the Hartson Avenue Water Plant, while the remainder were supplied by private wells or other means. The District was bonded in 1917 in the amount of $10,000.00 to be used as needed. With four $500 bonds, the District purchased the Hartson Avenue Water Plant from Dr. A.H. Reudy in May, 1918. This well is located at the northwest corner of 8th Avenue and Coleman Road and is referred to as Well No. 1.
Early in 1929, the Board of Commissioners instigated the purchase of a 200 gallon per minute Pamona pump which was installed and ready for operation for $1,586.00.
At the April 16, 1929 meeting, the Board of Commissioners adopted a motion to change the measuring of water used from gallons to cubic feet. The minimum rate was set at $2.00 for 1, 400 cubic feet (approximately 10,000 gallons) and each additional 100 cubic feet would be charged 7 cents. Water for irrigating out of a pipe with a 1 ½ “or smaller opening would be charged 25 center per hour. On May 5, 1931, the Board of Commissioners reduced the overage rate on water from 7 cents to 5 cents per 100 cubic feet, with all other rates to remain the same. On May 3, 1932, the overage rate was reduced to 4 cents per 100 cubic feet, with other rates remaining unchanged.
Each year from 1924 through 1938, the Board of Commissioners levied a tax on all taxable property in the district. The tax levy (of 35 mills in 1924 through 1926, 40 mills in 1927-1929, 55 mills in 1930-1937, and 30 mills in 1938) was for creating of a fund for payment of the interest on bond indebtedness, and for retirement of the bond indebtedness at maturity. Of each year’s levies, 2 mills were for payment of warrants and other district business. The depression years from 1930 through 1938, were a time of little improvements. The well was lowered 2 feet in 1930, the Board authorized badly-needed repairs to the tank and tower in 1934, and numerous wooden mains were replaced with 4” pipe. During the years there were numerous leaks in the wood mains and 1936 and 1937 being the worst. The repairing of leaks and other labor was performed by patrons of the water district and most of their compensation was applied to their water bill.
In October, 1939, the State Department of Health noted that the cover on the elevated tank was in a poor state of repair and pigeon droppings were falling into the water. The District was told to make the cover tight to exclude any possibility of foreign matter gaining access to the water in the tank. In July of 1943, the District replaced the original storage tank with a new elevated redwood water tank.
The first fire hydrant in the District was installed in 1939 at the southeast corner of 8th Avenue and Coleman Road. During 1940, six more fire hydrants were installed in the district at points designated by the County Fire Chief.
The District had a second pump installed in the well in April of 1946 to keep up with increasing demands on the system. In the early 1950’s, the District purchased property at the southwest corner of 8th Avenue and Thierman Road for Well No. 2. This well was dug by Zinkgraff in the fall of 1953 and the spring of 1954. The well was five feet in diameter and about 155 feet deep. It was constructed of solid core, concrete casing with brick facing. Fifteen feet of perforated steel casing was placed in the bottom of the hole.
By 1948, the practice of “irrigation” watering was discontinued and a resolution adopted that any water used by consumers in the District would be through a meter. Also the Board adopted a resolution that the District would use only 4” mains, nothing smaller….later this was changed to 6”.
In 1950 the office building was constructed at the southwest corner of Coleman and 7th Street. The first meeting of the Board of Water Commissioners in their new building was held on October 3, 1950.
in the early 1960’s the Board of Commissioners began planning for a new storage tank by determining what property was available. Property was purchased near 17th Ave and Thierman Road in January of 1962.
installed a 12” diameter water main in 1963 from 8th Avenue to 16th Avenue within an easement for the water main. This transmission main became the connection between the distribution system and the reservoir. The cost of this project was $16,967. In March of 1964, Carl Horner and Sons, Inc. completed excavation for the reinforced concrete water reservoir. The cost of the earthwork was $5,088. Hefte Construction Company then proceeded to construct the one million gallon reinforced concrete water reservoir. The reservoir was constructed for $44,934 and was completed in June of 1964. The overflow elevation of this reservoir is 2,197.08 feet, Spokane County Datum.
On January 6, 1964, Engineer Simpson wrote the Board and informed then that the pump bowls will require rebowling to operate efficiently against the higher pressure that will be provided by the new reservoir. Dickerson Pump and Irrigation Company was employed to rebowl the pumps and place pumps on automatic controls, except for one 75 HP pump at Well No. 2. The District was bonded in the amount of $30,000.00 to partially pay the cost of this construction. Bonds were retired between 1965 and 1974.
In 1965, the District purchased the Curtis Water District, also known as Beverly Hills. This area is east of Park Road and generally between 8th Avenue and 16thAvenue. Well No. 3 at the southwest corner of 8th Avenue and Park Road was purchased with the Curtis Water District. A 22,000 gallon steel water reservoir was included in the purchase. The overflow elevation of this reservoir is 2,246 feet.
The District was approached in 1969 by residents of Park Road and 18th Avenue area to inquire as to the availability of water to serve their properties. It was agreed that the District would extend a 6” main to service to service them, which would be paid for by any users connecting to the main from that time on. Property was not annexed to the District although the original agreement specified this arrangement.
In 1970, a booster pump was installed at the 22,000 gallon reservoir to help stabilize the pressure to the services in the upper portion of Beverly Hills.
In the spring of 1971, the Board of Commissioners elected to build new pump houses at pumping stations #1 and #3, followed in 1976 by a new pump house at pumping station #2, along with a shop/storage building at well #1 site. One of the reasons for rebuilding the pump houses was to comply with the State requirement that all pumps must be metered. Carl W. Vantyne was the architect for the buildings.
The Board of Commissioners adopted a resolution in October of 1976 that all future mains will be installed in roadways rather than in alleys and/or easement right-of-ways as had been the practice in the past.
After considerable thought and discussion in 1982, the Board of Commissioners approved installation of the booster pump station at Center and Highland Drive to improve water service to the higher area in Beverly Hills. This booster pump station also made it possible to convert 46 residences of the Beverly Hills system including Well No. 3 into the original East Spokane system. This resulted in 3 wells and storage of one million gallons in the original portion of the District. This increased source reliability of the booster pump station since it was now served by the 3 wells and the one million gallon storage