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Grants Pass plans to build a new water plant

Grants Pass Water Plant (KTVL/Simone Braithwaite)

The City of Grants Pass is planning on building a new water plant.

The current one has been around for eight decades.

Water is the cornerstone of a city and daily life, but for Grants Pass it's starting to become difficult to make it.

"There are multiple longitude cracks and then the rebar is starting to sprawl where it's rusting inside the concrete which causes it to swell and when it swells it pops the outer shell of the concrete off which then accelerates the degradation of the concrete and that’s happening on all areas of the plant not just the spots that’s exposed to water on a constant basis," said Jason Canady, Public Works Director.

Jason Canady thepublic works director for the city says the building was built in the 1930's is failing.

"We are the oldest continually operated water plant in the state of Oregon," said Canady.

They've decided to build a new one.

"The basin over here to our left would normally be about 18 inches thick and it's 6 inches. It’s really a big deal," said Canady.

The biggest issue how the structure would hold up in a Cascadia sized earthquake.

"We need to make sure that we as a public utility are providing a vital service to the community, will be able to recover fairly quickly, we will still be damaged and shut down but putting a new water plant in base and some other projects. We will be able to recover very quickly," said Canady.

The project will cost more than $50 million and the city will have to raise residents water bill to pay for it.

"You get up in the morning, you get a drink you take a shower you go to the restroom all these things require water," said Canady.

The city plans to have the plant up and running by spring 2023.

There will be a meeting Thursday, October 19th to talk about the future plant, and how much of an increase there would be in residents water bill.

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