Avondale Irrigation District was founded in 1908 and is still today doing it's very best to serve our customers with the very best water and service. Starting out as a stock farm, we were formed as Avondale Irrigation Company, the irrigation plant for Avondale Stock Farm. On February 12, 1912, fifty-five land owners filed a petition to make Avondale Irrigation Company, Avondale Irrigation District. On April 23, 1913, Avondale Irrigation District was officially formed and from that day on served both irrigation and domestic water. Water was pumped from Hayden Lake with one discharge line filled with one 125 hp. pump. that filled three small wooden storage tanks.
In 1952, the Bureau of Reclamation gave an estimated cost for reconstruction of the system because of frequent service failures. In 1954 and 1955, reconstruction of the irrigated works took place. The distribution system consisted of steel lines and a steel storage tank. Water was pumped out of Hayden Lake from a new pumping plant. A 24" discharge line was added to meet growing water needs.
In 1962 and 1963, the Bureau had to come back in and relay the supply lines because the steel ones laid just eight or so years prior had already began to fail. The 9.5 miles of steel line were replaced with corrosion resistant A/C pipe.
To meet domestic water quality standards, in 1977, Avondale drilled three new wells and installed 7,700 feet of new asbestos-cement pipe. The new pumping system pumped water out of the Rathdrum Prairie aquifer and had a capacity of 5,200 gallons per minute. The Hayden Lake pumping plant was only used to fill Avondale Lake after this. Three new wells have since been added and we now have two storage tanks with a capacity of 700,000 gallons. Our pumping capacity is now a little over 12 million gallons per day.
In 1996, we took some coliform hits because of the City of Hayden's sewer projects. Because of these hits, we were forced by the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (IDEQ) to inject chlorine into our system. This adds more cost to our daily pumping and also makes it more difficult to regulate the water. We keep the free chlorine residual at about .35 to .50 parts per million. This means for every one million gallons of water, we have 1/3 to 1/2 gallon of free chlorine in the water. We realize that some people are more sensitive to chlorine than others and we are doing our very best to keep everybody happy. In 2002, we upgraded our chlorination equipment to on-site chlorination by Miox. We made our own Chlorine on-site with water, salt and electricity. Because our new system used mixed oxidants, there was no noticable difference in the taste and odor of the chlorine in the water. By 2004, we applied to Idaho Department of Enviornmental Quality, to discontinue the use of chlorine in our system. This was granted, so we no longer use the miox, however, we have the system in place to use if it becomes necessary.
With a strong housing market our district quickly grew to around 2,500 connections by 2008. Most larger properties within our boundaries were sub-divided and went from alfalfa fields to housing complexes. The market slowed after the fall out of 2008 and things slowed dramatically for the next 4 to 5 years. We took advantage of the slow market to install an automatic meter reading (AMR) system. This allowed us to read meters much quicker and in all types of weather such as the winter. Reading meters on a year around basis helps us determine peak usage times better and also alert customers to leaks faster.
We have added over 900 acres to our district since 2012 and are starting to see that land finally develop.
In 2012 we added SCADA to our system, which is a more sophisticated approach to managing pumps, tank levels, pressures and so forth. SCADA uses radio technology and allows our operators the opportunity to manage pumps and tank levels from their phones. In the event of emergencies this has proven to be a great asset to our personnel.
In 2013 we completed a much needed office remodel. The office remodel allowed us the opportunity to expand our office, add a conference room and much needed offices.
In 2014 we annexed the City of Hayden Lake. We had been providing water to the City of Hayden Lake since 1985, however it was through a vault and on a bulk water basis. When they were annexed, we officially took over their system by billing them individually, maintaining their system and including them within our boundaries. 2014 also brought the addition of new billing software. The new software not only gave us a more up to date avenue of billing, but added a much needed backflow monitoring module.
2015 brought yet more changes when we added generators to all of our facilities. The addition of generators has made us 100% self reliant in power outages. We currently have enough storage and backup power to maintain domestic water use, irrigation and fire prevention in the event of a major power outage. We currently provide emergency water to Pineview Water Association and Emerald Estates Water Association. A water right agreement (RAFN) was also completed in 2014-2015 which will hopefully secure our right to pump water from the Rathdrum Prairie Aquifer.
Currently we have about 2,800 connections and serve water to approximately 7,000 people.