Aberdeen, WA – Federal grant funds will  go towards repairing an Aberdeen water utility.

In a release from the Department of Ecology’s Dam Safety Office, the City of Aberdeen and their Fairview Reservoir No. 1 was one of two sites that will receive a portion of $153,007 in grant funding.

The funds are part of a new grant program administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). FEMA had $10 million to provide assistance for planning and other pre-construction activities such as data collection, design and permitting.

The state office applied for funds to assist three dam owners, with two getting accepted. 

Ecology dam safety inspectors at Fairview Reservoir #1

The funds will be split evenly between the city of Aberdeen to work on slope stability issues at their Fairview Reservoir #1 and the city of Newcastle to stabilize and remove the Newcastle Railroad Embankment Dam. For the next year, both owners will use dam engineer consultants to collect and analyze data and develop solutions and designs.

“Through our inspection program, we identified both of these projects as being in poor condition and needing engineer assessments and repairs,” said Joe Witczak, Ecology’s Dam Safety Office manager. “This is the first year this grant funding was available and we intend to apply again next year in support of other high hazard dams in need of repair.” 

Outlet pipe broken and submerged
at Newcastle Railroad Embankment Dam

In addition to the funds that Ecology was awarded, the dam owners must provide a 35 percent match. 

According to a Water Safety Plan from the City of Aberdeen, Fairview Reservoir No. 1 was originally  built in 1915.

The Dam Safety Office regulates 1,055 dams in Washington. They say that while many of those are doing just fine, but 409 pose a potential risk to people living and working below.