The MacKaye Harbor Water District began its life on January 1, 2015 after the San Juan County Council granted approval to form the district and elect a three commissioner board to oversee the financial and operational functioning of the water system.
Potable water is provided by the district to much of the south central portion of Lopez Island, Washington. It is a Group A system (serves 25 or more people 60 or more days per year) regulated by the Washington State Department of Health, Northwest Drinking Water Operations.
The physical system began its life in the late 1970’s as the privately owned MacKaye Harbor Water Company which initially only served the Salmon Point Community, but was designed to serve other customers along Aleck Bay and MacKaye Harbor Roads.
Transfer from the private system to the district was necessary because the private company, under the regulatory limitations of the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission, was unable to generate sufficient revenue to both maintain and improve the system infrastructure. At dissolution, the company generously donated the physical plant at no cost to the district.
All water is obtained from two drilled wells located just north of Aleck Bay Road utilizing submersible pumps to transfer water to a 30,000 gallon storage tank and hydro-pneumatic pressure system which serves the Salmon Point Community and other customers south of the junction of Barlow Bay and MacKaye Harbor Roads. Customers along Aleck Bay Road and eastern portions of the MacKaye Harbor Road are served by gravity pressure from the storage tank.
Our water quality is excellent, meeting all primary and secondary water quality standards, and water availability is more than adequate to serve the current 65 service connections.
However, the system although well maintained is nearly 40 years old. Upgrades to the well field equipment, underground distribution pipes, pressure system, and emergency power outage systems are planned over a ten year period. Given the present pace of development, there is sufficient water and planned infrastructure to provide for all possible future users within the district’s geographic boundaries.