The first public water system for the City of Forest Grove was built circa 1908.
A water intake was constructed on Clear Creek, a tributary of Gales Creek. A transmission line, constructed of logs with a ten-inch hole bored through the center, conveyed water from the intake to the present site of the water treatment facility (Buxton Hill). Here it was stored in a concrete reservoir built at the same time as the intake and transmission line. This reservoir is still in use as the settling basin for the water treatment plant.
In 1947, a new five-million-gallon water reservoir was constructed at the Buxton Hill site (now known as Watercrest Road site). In 1947 and 194848, a water treatment plant was built at the site. This was one of the first rapid sand filter treatment facilities built in Oregon. It could produce 1.7 million gallons of treated water in a 24-hour day.
During the fall of 1978, the 30-year-old water treatment plant was shut down for rebuilding. Construction was completed in the spring of 1980 and the plant again started treating water from the Clear Creek watershed. In June of 2006, the treatment plant was shut down again for updating and restarted filtration a month later. This short shutdown allowed upgrades to the control system and enabled piping changes to be made to comply with new plant standards.
In the spring of 2015, Water Treatment Plant operators noticed that water was leaking from the filter bay. The original filter bays were constructed in 1947 with concrete floors and walls. After an investigation, it was determined that the leak was coming from underneath the floor slab and needed to be repaired. During the summer, work was performed to repair the two holes and a new filter system with updated technology using steel underdrains and anthracite coal media was installed. The investigative repair project required five separate contracts including an engineering consultant and four specialty contractors. The City Engineering Department managed the project and the City Public Works crews were used to help remove medial from the filters.
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