Tieton Celebrates Progress in Fixing Water System - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Tieton Celebrates Progress in Fixing Water System

Tieton, WA -  Tieton city leaders say they have all the funding needed to replace the old water pipes that left them in a water crisis six months ago.

The first phase in the water system replacement for the city is basically done.  Crews just need to finish repaving roads where pipes were replaced.  They focused on the most vulnerable pipes first.  The pipes responsible for the 21 water main breaks last November. 

The city took time to celebrate all the progress that has been made.

People clapped and cheered when local legislators presented city officials with a ceremonial check for more than $2.627 million.   The funding was secured during the last legislative session and will cover all remaining costs to replace the pipes in the water system.

"I wasn't sure if I would be successful, but I asked for the total funding gap of 2.627 million dollars because it was my hope by doing that that we wouldn't have to use USDA funds," Norma Joiner, Mayor of Tieton, "And that happened.  That way we don't have that rate increase."

The tab for a new water system is about four million dollars.

Tieton is on the hook for $335,000.

Residents like Lavern and Barbara Barnes say they are paying about six dollars more a month for water now.

It will go up another four dollars next January, but the money from the state will save residents a third increase that could've been as much as ten more dollars a month.

The project will take about two years to complete.  The first phase was finished this week.  Now they just need to repave the roadways.

More emergency replacements will begin in a few months.