Oregon’s water and wastewater systems are especially vulnerable to damage resulting from a Cascadia subduction zone earthquake. If it were to occur today, a Cascadia subduction zone earthquake would result in catastrophic impacts to existing water and wastewater systems throughout western Oregon. Communities would rely on emergency supplies for the first one to two weeks, depending on location and on the condition of transportation infrastructure. Some areas would have no water supplies during that time. Water for healthcare facilities such as hospitals would be severely restricted. Emergency water supplies would meet only subsistence needs (for example, direct consumption and very limited bathing).
Recommendation: Begin aggressive public information efforts to re-set public expectations for a realistic response time. Local governments should consider using local and state planning processes and tools to integrate seismic resilience into their community development and hazard preparation policies.
Status: In progress. Ongoing with the Office of Emergency Management's "2 Week Ready" campaign.
Recommendation: Water-related industry associations and manufacturers should be strongly encouraged to evaluate the need for seismic design standards for pipelines.
Status: In progress. This effort is being led by the Portland Water Bureau and Tualatin Valley Water District. Water and wastewater districts are actively upgrading their facilities and infrastructure. Funding is done by rate-payers. This area is a major success of the Oregon Resilience Plan.
Recommendation: Seismic vulnerability criteria should be incorporated into overall capital improvement project planning and asset management priorities.
Status: Complete. Oregon’s Drinking Water Services is updating OAR Chapter 333, Division 061 that will include permanently amend OAR relating to water system master plans and water systems management and operations. The proposed amendments are intended to promote seismic resiliency, ensure water treatment is applied equally at all water systems and improve the clarity and organization of the rule language. Goes into effective in early 2018.
Recommendation: Require water systems to complete a seismic risk assessment and mitigation plan as part of the existing requirement for five-year updates to water system master plans.
Status: Complete. The seismic resiliency provision is an amendment to the Master Plan requirements in OAR 333-061-0060 (5)(a). Master Plans are required for water systems with 300 or more service connections and require a 20 year look ahead. The amendment adds a new subsection (J) to the Master Plan requirements.