Andy Creek cabin tract was surveyed and platted in 1948 by the US Forest Service. Seventy-five lots were designated with 3 that were determined to be in-lieu lots, reserved for exchange in the event that an existing lot is not suitable due to terrain or surface water issues. Seventy-two of these lots have cabins. Most cabin lots are 120 x 150 feet with an area between .29 and .42 acres.
The Andy Creek cabin tract lies between the 2975' and 3075' elevation....approximately 50 feet to 150 feet above Rimrock Lake, when the lake is at spillway elevation.
Our cabin tract was named "Andy Creek" after the most prominent water feature close to our cabin area...Andy Creek. This stream was named after Andy Mabry, a trapper and friend of John Russell, the well-known rancher who lived and farmed the area of the lake bed between Russell Creek and Indian Creek.
Our tract was one of the final cabin groups to be created within the Rimrock Lake area and is the largest cabin tract within both the Chinook Pass and White Pass regions.
History of Andy Creek's Water System
After the Andy Creek cabin tract began growing, cabin owners soon discovered that hauling water for washing, cooking, and drinking was not desirable. In 1949, PC Decker filed for a water permit on a small unnamed creek several hundred feet northwest of his cabin (#22). Remnants of the original water line still remain. It appears to be 2" steel pipe connected to a 6" cast iron pipe with a perforated plate connected to the end. This may have originally been submerged into a sand filter box in a dammed portion of the creek. The pipeline eventually disappears underground and is now only visible on a 1951 map of the Andy Creek cabin tract, which shows that the pipeline terminates at the north side of PC Decker's cabin lot.
Several other pipelines were built and included the "Woods", "Simpson" and "Billington" Project lines. Shares of the pipeline were sold to other cabin owners to finance the purchasing of pipe and labor.
Andy Creek Water Users, Incorporated was established in 1949-1950 to facilitate the process of acquiring water rights to stream water and coordinate the laying of pipes and valves throughout our cabin tract.Within one year the decision was made to build a reservoir to help provide a more constant and reliable flow and water pressure, as well as to help purify the water.
1951 - One of our former cabin owners, Gilbert H. Moen, was hired to design and build a concrete dam on the west fork of Andy Creek at about 3,400 foot elevation northwest of our tract. This well-engineered dam included a semi-circular porous brick filter, two removable screens, and a secondary filter consisting of gravel and charcoal. An overflow spillway served to allow excess water to safely flow over the top of the dam without undercutting the underlying structure, as well as facilitating the removal of floating leaves and other materials.
Bentonite clay powder was mined from the "South Fork" region of Rimrock Lake and sprinkled on the pond bottom to inhibit water leakage through the soil and gravels. This clay material consists mostly of montmorillonite; a porous clay formed by the decomposition of volcanic ash that swells 5 to 6 times its original volume in the presence of water.
Other features our the pond reservoir were a large slide valve in the wall of the dam beneath the overflow spillway which provided a means of emptying the dam. This enabled a crew of cabin volunteers to remove rocks and mud from the bottom of the reservoir after the spring runoff.
Another slide valve lies about 8" above the concrete bottom of the semicircular porous brick filter to prevent debris from entering the water pipes during the cleaning process.
To prevent large game animals from entering the pond and dam area, a barbed wire fence was built. Many volunteer man-hours were required to install wood posts and install the fencing. The reservoir required annual emptying and cleaning to maintain and remove the mud and decaying leaves that adversely affect water quality.
Within a few months, volunteers were asked to bring their shovels and picks to dig trenches and install pipe and shut-off valves to throughout the Andy Creek cabin tract. A tap and die threading machine was brought in so cabin owners could cut threads on their cabin piping.
This water system worked for many years, though pipe breaks due to freezing were common and high runoff during winter snow thaws and spring warming and rain created cloudy and muddy water. Greater snowfall generally provided better insulation for the pipelines during the winters...and less freezing.
1974 - Federal Clean Water Act required our cabin group to seek a different source of domestic water.
1975 - The Andy Creek Water Users Association was notified by the Washington State Department of Health that it could no longer drink the water from Andy Creek's filtered source at our reservoir.
1977 - Preston L. Shepherd Engineering in Yakima was hired to research our options for drinking water that would be acceptable under the terms of the new rules.
Three alternative water sources were determined to be reasonable alternatives:
1) Pipe water from the clear and cold springs which emerge below the rocky slopes near the beaver ponds about 2.6 miles northwest of Andy Creek.
2) Filter and automatically chlorinate the water at the Andy Creek reservoir located about 2,100 feet northwest of the Andy Creek cabin area.
3) Drill a well.
Bringing water 2.6 miles from the springs was considered unfeasible due to the distance. This water, although clear and clean, would still need to be tested frequently. Freezing pipe would also be unusually difficult to access and repair due to the winter snows.
The Andy Creek reservoir water would need to have expensive automatic filtering and chlorination.
Drilling a well was considered the least expensive and most likely water potential water source.
1978 - After a discussion with well-driller Henry Bach, cabin owner Wilbur Logan spoke to Walter W. Tokarczyk, District Ranger for the Naches Ranger District about the possibility that Andy Creek could share the water from the well at Indian Creek Campground. This well had the capacity to produce great quantities of clean, healthy water and had been in operation since 1963.
The initial response from Ranger Tokarczyk was that the Naches Ranger District was not interested.
1979 - After several months, however, the Ranger wrote a letter that indicated that the Naches Ranger District was indeed interested in sharing the water and expenses for this well. It was decided that the Silver Beach Resort should be included in the sharing arrangement. After further discussion, an agreement was written which outlined the methodology for sharing the water and costs.
Andy Creek would be able to connect to the 17 year old Forest Service-owned 20,000 gallon redwood storage reservoir near the Bootjack Cabin tract northwest of the Andy Creek cabin area.
1980 - Andy Creek hired a contractor to dig a trench from the Forest Service redwood tank, down a steep slope and under the Forest Service Road 1308, to the west end of the Andy Creek cabin tract. Several cabin owners volunteered to supply manual labor to prepare the trench and lay and glue the 4" PVC water pipe. The redwood tank is about the same elevation as the west end of the Andy Creek cabin tract, so a booster pump would be necessary to pump water throughout the existing 30 year old iron pipeline. A 300 gallon steel pressure tank was installed with the pump and electrical controls in a pump house, which was built partially underground to take advantage of the natural heat present in the soil.
After the first big holiday, cabin owners found that the pressure tank could not supply enough water pressure to the cabins. There was general agreement during this time that we needed a design change.
1981 - Engineering firm Gray and Osborne was hired to design a gravity feed reservoir that would supply adequate water under constant pressure. A contractor was hired to dig a trench about 550' above our booster pumphouse. Again, several cabin owners volunteered to show up with shovels to prepare the trench, dig and level the soil, remove roots, and lay and glue 4" PVC pipe down to the Andy Creek cabin area near the booster pump house.
1982 - Andy Creek Water Users Association purchased a 15,000 gallon 9' X 29.5' steel water tank. This tank was dragged down from a skid road above the cabin area to a prepared hole dug in the hillside about 550' from the cabin area. Volunteers again helped in this project, helping move soil to fill the space around this tank. 4" PVC pipe and electrical control wire was laid in the trench heading back to our booster pump house.
Our water system was put to test during the following big holiday...with many cabin owners...and greater than usual water usage. Everyone had water! The new gravity-flow water system worked.
There were malfunctions and adjustments over the years, but perhaps the biggest glitch was when a ceramic float that was used in the 20,000 gallon Forest Service redwood tank broke and ended up in the Andy Creek 4" PVC water pipe. The ceramic pieces broke the pump and lodged in the pipeline, causing an expensive flood in the Andy Creek pump house. After replacing or repairing the electronics, pump motors, and....installing a larger water drain, this system has experienced relatively few problems supplying domestic water to our appreciative cabin owners.
1995 - It became apparent that the number of water leaks from the iron water pipes, many of which were 45 years old, were becoming an increasing problem. After much discussion, it was determined that a new water distribution system was necessary. Preston L. Shepherd Engineering designed the new cabin area water system. During 1996, Trepanier Excavating dug the trenches and installed the pipe and valves. At the same time, 19 fire hydrants were installed about 300 feet apart throughout the cabin area. In addition, 9 isolation valves were installed throughout the system so that it would be easier to repair valves and pipe without stopping water delivery to all cabins. The isolation valves also reduce the quantity of water that would drain out of the pipes during repairs or valve replacements, which helped reduce the repair time.
2003 - 300 feet of 1 ½" fire hose was installed on all fire hydrants in 2005, along with brass gate valves and highly visible protective covers.
2009 - The Washington State Department of Health, after a survey of the Andy Creek cabin tract, determined that we need to install a backflow prevention device in our system to prevent potentially contaminated water from ever making its way back to the Forest Service Campground. The Forest Service purchased a Zurn reduced pressure backflow prevention assembly for Andy Creek to install in our water system. After numerous attempts to make this device operate, and many consultations with the manufacturer and installer, it was decided to abandon this technique for a much simpler and more effective and reliable method known as an air-gap system.
An air-gap device was designed by Andy Creek members which was subsequently approved by the Department of Health.
At a meeting in September with District Ranger Randall Shepard, and other Forest Service personnel, Andy Creek was told that it would not be able to utilize water from the Forest Service well adjacent to the Indian Creek Campground. This was a Region 6 (Oregon and Washington) decision based upon potential issues relating to liability and cost. There would be no options other than Andy Creek searching for a new source for domestic water.
2010 - Andy Creek's Board of Directors discussed a number of options, similar to the options presented in 1977, when Andy Creek was told it would have to find a different source of water than that from the Andy Creek reservoir built in 1951.
After numerous consultations with Dept. of Health engineers, it was determined that surface or spring water would be very difficult, expensive, and unlikely to be approved for a group as large as Andy Creek.
During a subsequent meeting, the Forest Service offered to allow Andy Creek to drill a well at least 100 feet away from the Indian Creek Campground well from which we had been sharing the water and operation costs for the past 30 years.
After much discussion, Andy Creek's Board of Directors agreed to seek bids on drilling a well. Three drilling companies were requested to view the surroundings, visit potential well sites locations near the existing Forest Service well and submit bids.
Each of the three drilling companies agreed that the vicinities both north and south of the existing well were the most likely to be in a productive aquifer. Robinson Well Drilling and Development was ultimately selected to drill Andy Creek's well.
On September 7, 2010 drilling began on the new well. Four days later, the well development was completed with a static water level of 23' and capacity of 75 gallons per minute of very cold 40 degree water.
Much work remained during 2010 and 2011 to design and build a very secure pump-house to protect the wellhead and control system, as well as completion of the trenching, pipe laying, and installation of 2 cables of over 1/2 mile of 24 gauge low-voltage control wire in buried PVC conduit. New 3" high-density polyethylene pipe (HDPE) was laid about 1,400 feet from our new wellhouse to the cluster of valves below lot #56 and was connected to our existing 4-inch PVC water distribution system.
During 2012 a new 24" diameter stainless-steel "manway" entrance was redesigned and installed to provide a more secure and trouble-free access to our water tank for maintenance and inspection.
In July 2013, Andy Creek purchased mitigation credits from the Washington State Dept. of Ecology for 36 years of "insurance" that our water would not be curtailed during drought periods. The purchase of the mitigation credits gave us the equivalent of senior water rights until at least the year 2049, with the option to continue the agreement for a nominal additional cost at that time.
Further water discussions have subsequently centered on the possible relining of our existing 15,000 gallon buried steel water tank and/or acquiring additional water storage for supplemental fire suppression, along with extra water availability during high cabin use during holidays, power outages, and possible drought situations in the future. Other projects to be addressed include the possibility of obtaining permission from the Forest Service for construction of a maintenance and storage building for our backhoe and snowplow.
During the first week of November, 2014, our 15,000 gallon water tank was relined with 3/8" Rhinolining. The lining is specifically approved for domestic water consumption.