Water Project

Emergency Water Supply Grant Submitted

To ensure that water is available to the hospital should we experience a major Cascadia Subduction Zone (CSZ) seismic event, the Pacific Communities Health District has submitted an application for a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grant. Notification regarding the FEMA grant is expected in early 2023. In addition, the City of Newport and the District have entered into an intergovernmental agreement to establish respective responsibilities for the design, construction, and both normal and emergency operations of a Fall Street Reservoir.

In April 2020, Samaritan Pacific Communities Hospital (SPCH) updated its Emergency Operations Plan and recognized the need for a resilient water supply that would allow medical operations to continue in the weeks following a major CSZ seismic event. Much of the existing Newport’s water supply, treatment, and distribution system was installed without considerations for seismic resiliency related to a magnitude 9.0 CSZ seismic event and are not expected to be operational for many months following such a large earthquake. To provide a minimum of 28 days of emergency water supply, the existing water service to the SPCH site will require a retrofit to include a dedicated storage tank constructed near the SPCH site that could be filled through existing water service connections to Newport’s water distribution system. The storage would provide water to the SPCH facility through the existing service line which would be extended to the tank with seismically resilient pipe and would be isolated from Newport’s distribution system following a seismic event.

Newport identified a section of existing public right-of-way for Fall Street between SW 10th and SW 11th that is currently undeveloped and is unlikely to ever be useful for a roadway due to the topography. The extended Fall Street right of way includes the top of a local ridge with an elevation of approximately 172 feet above mean sea level that could provide sufficient elevation for a ground surface storage tank to function without a booster pump station.

The proposed 372,000-gallon emergency storage tank is anticipated to be 42-feet in diameter with 42-feet tall walls. The tank inlet will receive water from Newport’s water system at a connection to an existing 12-inch diameter water main at the intersection of SW 9th and Fall Streets.


The tank will remain full through the use of an altitude valve on the inlet piping.  A seismic valve on the tank outlet will automatically close on detection of a significant earthquake to preserve the functionality of the SPCH water service. By isolating the seismically resilient tank from Newport’s distribution system, the stored water can be preserved for use by the SPCH through the seismically resilient water service piping for a minimum of 4 weeks, or longer.

Excessive water age, resulting in potential water quality issues, is a concern if the SPCH is the only customer using the water in normal conditions. The average water age in the tank will be reduced by connecting the tank to a new West Bayfront Pressure Zone within Newport’s water distribution system along Bay Blvd. with a short pipeline within the Fall Street right-of-way.  Newport has agreed to operate the tank as part of the existing water distribution system once it is constructed and commissioned.

The District’s Mission is to:


Provide clinically related diagnostic, treatment and rehabilitative services on an inpatient or outpatient basis


Provide outreach programs in health care education, health care research and patient care


Serve as a resource for health care providers in the District


Promote the physical and mental health and well-being of District residents