Silvana’s 37,000-gallon water reserve ran low in late July after a tent stake punctured a waterline. The hole was patched by the end of the month. (Joey Thompson / The Herald)

Silvana’s 37,000-gallon water reserve ran low in late July after a tent stake punctured a waterline. The hole was patched by the end of the month. (Joey Thompson / The Herald)

Accidental cut in 105-year-old pipe lowered water in Silvana

The supply is back to normal levels after workers patched the leak at the end of July.

SILVANA — They were just trying to set up some tents.

That’s the story from Silvana, where the unincorporated town’s water reserve started running low in late July.

Some folks were preparing for an annual fair in town and inadvertently plunged a tent stake into a waterline, causing a leak which drained water from the town’s 37,000 gallon tank.

The hole was fixed by the end of the month, said Spencer Fuentes, a volunteer board member of the Silvana Water Association, the nonprofit that manages the system. He said the supply is back to normal, but residents should be conscious of water use when thinking about washing cars or watering lawns.

“In the summertime, it’s always a good idea for people to conserve water, anyway,” Fuentes said.

Fuentes, a lifelong Silvana resident, also runs Hazel Blue Acres, a blueberry and hazelnut farm, with his wife, Karen. He’s been on the water board for 18 years.

Willow Payne, who co-owns Willow and Jim’s Country Cafe in town, said they’re always conscious of their water use, regardless of any shortage.

The north Snohomish County community sits along a stretch of the Stillaguamish River west of I-5 and Arlington.

The tank and pipes have been in place since 1914. The reserve serves about 52 buildings, including some farms, businesses and homes. It holds about a day-and-a-half’s worth of water for the community of about 90 people.

The water comes from artesian springs that run year-round to the south. Artesian means pressure causes the underground water to pump upward naturally.

“Even in drought years, we haven’t had springs diminish in any good amount,” Fuentes said.

Joey Thompson: 425-339-3430; Twitter: @byjoeythompson.

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