Posted: May 26, 2022
St. Helena – Today, Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-05) presented a $1,840,000 check to Adventist Health St. Helena Hospital leaders and Napa County officials for the Napa County Deer Park and St. Helena Hospital water system. This project will improve water infrastructure and increase onsite water storage at Adventist Health St. Helena Hospital, which owns and operates water storage, treatment, and distribution facilities that provide potable water to approximately 660 St. Helena residents and to hospital buildings. The hospital serves residents from Napa, Lake, and Mendocino counties.
“The St. Helena Hospital water system provides services to hundreds of residents in St. Helena, but currently is at risk of potential failure in the event of a disaster, including earthquakes and wildfires,” said Thompson. “I was proud to work with hospital leaders and Napa County officials to secure this funding to strengthen the water supply for the hospital and surrounding neighborhood and ensure the risk factors are properly addressed. Investing in our water infrastructure will help keep the hospital up and running while providing another line of defense from the threat of wildfires.”
“This essential grant will allow us to modernize our water infrastructure that will not only serve the hospital, but it will also allow us to provide surplus to the Upper Napa Valley community. We would not be able to make these vital improvements without the grant,” said Steven Herber, M.D., President, Adventist Health St. Helena
“We’re so grateful for this grant that will help preserve more of our precious water resources. It’s a wonderful example of how government and our local communities can work together,” said Glen Newhart, MBA, CFRE, President, St. Helena Hospital Foundation.
“Napa County is so fortunate to have a partner in our community like St. Helena Hospital. Not only has St. Helena Hospital been an invaluable health care provider for our residents, but they have also worked hand-in-hand with us to keep the community safe during repeat emergencies, including the 2020 wildfires and throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. This vital appropriation of resources for the hospital’s water supply will help keep residents safe and provide necessary support for rural healthcare infrastructure at a critical time. We are so grateful to Congressman Thompson for his relentless support and concern for our community’s health, safety, and wellbeing,” said Napa County Supervisor Diane Dillon.
During the Glass Fire, the water tanks were destroyed, taking a vital resources away from our community.
The Glass Fire also destroyed 56 residences connected to the hospital’s community water system. As the affected homeowners rebuild, they are obligated to meet current County building codes which require installation of fire sprinklers. The water mains serving the area are 75 to 100 years old and are undersized and cannot provide the volume of flow to accommodate new homes that need fire sprinklers. Also, much of the water distribution piping is very shallow or actually sitting on the surface of the ground where it is vulnerable to fire damage. Some of the mains are made of plastic material, which melts in a fire.
When the project is complete, Adventist Health St. Helena will be able to provide an additional supply of up to 25 million gallons per year to the City of St. Helena. The additional supply would represent 12 percent of the annual water use in St. Helena and surrounding areas and is critical as local reservoirs are at 30-40 percent of their capacity and the area is facing a Phase 3 water emergency.
Rep. Thompson was joined by Dr. Steven Herber, CEO of the St. Helena Hospital, Glen Newhart, CEO of the St. Helena Hospital Foundation, and Diane Dillon, Napa County Board of Supervisors.