Cannon Beach Experiences Largest Water Line Break in City History

Cannon Beach, Oregon faces water infrastructure crisis: Aging pipes, impasse with Conference Center delay critical resiliency project, leaving community vulnerable to disruptions.

Bijay Laxmi
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Cannon Beach Experiences Largest Water Line Break in City History

Cannon Beach Experiences Largest Water Line Break in City History

On March 26, 2024, the city of Cannon Beach, Oregon experienced the most significant water line failure in its history. The incident occurred in a 50-year-old PVC plastic pipe at the north end of town, resulting in several hours of no water or low water pressure for hundreds of residents and businesses. The break prompted a Boil Water Advisory that remained in effect until March 28th, when tests confirmed no bacterial contamination was present.

The water line break has highlighted the urgent need for Cannon Beach's ongoing Water Resiliency Project, which aims to harden the city's water infrastructure to withstand a major earthquake. Key components of the project include installing seismic isolation valves, replacing aging pipes with high-density polyethylene (HDPE), and constructing a new 1 million gallon metal water reservoir.

However, progress on the Water Resiliency Project has been delayed due to an impasse in negotiations between the city and the Cannon Beach Conference Center regarding an easement needed to construct the new reservoir. The second phase of the project cannot move forward until an understanding is established with the Conference Center.

Why this matters: The water line break in Cannon Beach underscores the vulnerability of aging water infrastructure in many communities and the importance of proactive measures to enhance resiliency. Delays in critical projects like Cannon Beach's Water Resiliency Project can leave cities exposed to extended water service disruptions in the event of natural disasters or major pipeline failures.

Cannon Beach Public Works Director Karen La Bonte emphasized the significance of the incident, stating, "This water line break is a sobering reminder of why our Water Resiliency Project is so vital. We need to expedite negotiations with the Conference Center and move forward with constructing the new reservoir to ensure our community has a reliable and resilient water supply." City officials are hopeful that an understanding can be established soon to allow the project to proceed without further delays.

Key Takeaways

  • Cannon Beach, OR experienced a major water line failure on 3/26/2024.
  • The incident highlighted the need for Cannon Beach's Water Resiliency Project.
  • The project aims to harden the city's water infrastructure against earthquakes.
  • Progress on the project is delayed due to negotiations with the Conference Center.
  • The water line break underscores the importance of proactive infrastructure upgrades.