Sunrise Water Authority was established November 9, 2000 under Oregon Revised Statute 450.650. Growth pressures, limitations on water supplies, and opportunities for increased efficiencies and better service delivery to customers drove the Mt. Scott Water and Damascus Water Districts to join in forming the agency. A seven member Board of Commissioners elected by zone establishes policies and oversees the operation and finances of the agency.
Sunrise is the only water authority in the state operating in a metropolitan area. An authority has certain protections and assurances that water districts do not have. Water districts may lose territory through annexation by a city at any time. A city attempting to annex authority territory must show they can provide water service more effectively or economically than an authority. A water authority’s sole function is providing water service so all revenues collected are dedicated exclusively to water agency operations.
We provide safe, reliable water service to approximately 44,000 people in a 22-square-mile service area encompassing Happy Valley, parts of the City of Damascus, and areas of unincorporated Clackamas County.
Our distribution system consists of roughly 200 miles of pipe, 14,200 service connections and meters, and a multitude of fire hydrants, valves, back-flow prevention devices and pressure reducing valves. Distribution mains range in size from 6-inches to 8-inches and deliver water from the transmission portion of the system. Water is pumped to thirteen reservoirs scattered throughout higher elevations of our service area. Water pressure in the system is created by the drop in elevation from reservoirs to the point of use.
Our transmission system
consists of 12 and 24-inch transmission mains and thirteen pump stations. Our water is purchased from Clackamas River Water and the North Clackamas County Water Commission treatment plants located on the Clackamas River. A small portion of the water supply comes from wells, which are only operated during periods of peak water demand. Emergency supplies can be obtained from the South Fork Water Board plant which also draws water from the Clackamas River.
We understand the investment that customers have in their water system and are continually working on maintenance and improvement projects
to assure that the value and optimal operation of that investment is preserved and improved. Aging, wear, and obsolescence of infrastructure pose a challenge to maintaining the reliability of the system and the safety of the water delivered to customers. Some components of the water system date as far back as the 1940’s. Rehabilitation and replacement of aged infrastructure is a continuous process.
Revenues for operation of the agency are generated by water sales, fees for service, system development charges and returns on investments. Tax revenues are not a funding source for the agency.