City secures $2.2 million grant to protect emergency water supplies

August 23, 2018

If the “big one” hits, Gresham residents will soon be one step closer to a dependable water supply thanks to a $2.2 million grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to seismically retrofit Grant Butte reservoir. The City of Gresham is the only project submitted by the state of Oregon to FEMA for this grant and competed with 254 projects nationwide.

The Grant Butte reservoir is one of the most important emergency water supplies in Gresham. With capacity to serve about 66% of the city’s residents, the reservoir also supplies the Legacy Mount Hood Medical Center. The reservoir and its associated pipes are located in an area of very high probability for earthquake induced landslides. This FEMA grant covers 75% of the cost of creating effective measure of protection including seismic cables to strengthen the connection to the foundation, flexible pipeline connections, seismic isolation valving, and replacing the Tier 1 pipeline that runs from the reservoir out to the city

“From selling emergency water bottles to residents to securing our water supplies, the City is doing what we can to prepare for the unexpected. This grant from FEMA is a huge step forward to secure one of our most important sources of water during an emergency,” said Steve Fancher, Public Works Director.

The Grant Butte reservoir seismic retrofit work will take place in 2019 and 2020. This work will not impact water service to Gresham residents.