Category Archives: Meeting Reports

Reports of activity which occurred at a DLWID meeting

December DLWID Board Meeting Report

The Devils Lake Water Improvement District Board meeting was on Thursday December 13th at 6:00pm and was held in the City Hall Council Chambers located on the third floor of City Hall. The full meeting is now available online at this streaming video link.

Public Comment: There was 1 interested party in attendance. He described his efforts to bring a jet ski race to Devils Lake that Northwest Jet Sports, an affiliate of the National Jet Ski Association, has agreed to coordinate. He stated, that Chinook Winds agreed to sponsor the insurance for the event at a cost of about $1,800. They want a letter of support from the Devils Lake Water Improvement Board and Manager, which was agreed to later in the meeting.

Septic Ordinance: There was a report given on the Septic Tank Revitalization Program.  Several issues have been resolved; to date a septic ordinance is yet to be drafted.  The board was asked to permit the District to comment on a petition from La Pine to DEQ related to septic systems that staff felt didn’t make sense.  The board approved by 5-0 to write a letter to the DEQ opposing the petition.

Save Our Shoreline: There was nothing to report on this program.

Vegetation Management: The District’s contractor Max Depths has completed another draft of the document to be sent to the Wildlife Integrity Review Board.  Staff had reported that they had reviewed the document and had only minor suggestions.

Sewer: Brian Green reported that in the past month, the city staff and he agreed on a timeline for the presentation of the project to the City Council. It was agreed that this would occur in a series of three City Council meetings in order to comply with the City’s LID ordinance.

Communications: The District recently announced that their regularly scheduled Board meetings will now be available for viewing live over the internet. To view this meeting online, visit LincolnCity.org or follow this link.  The video of the meeting will be available, for on demand viewing at anytime in the future.

MidCoastTMDL: The Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) continues the planning process for developing a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for 303(d) listed waterbodies in the Oregon Mid-Coast Basin. The District participates in the Bacteria Technical Working Group.

East Devils Lake Road: Lincoln County has completed their report on East Devils Lake Road.  A copy of this was placed on District’s project web page at this link.   The initial study estimated repairs that ranged from $13 to $30 million.

Lake Level Monitoring: Staff made an extensive presentation on their study that occurred this summer.  The study performed by DLWID staff was designed to assess the impacts of lower lake levels during the 2012 summer season. You can view the entire presentation in the streaming video of the meeting.  We have created an article on each of the five topical areas including the Introduction, Boat Dock Survey, Fish and Wildlife, Septic Systems, Water Quality and Vegetation.

Vegetation Survey: Also presented at the meeting was the Aquatic Plant Survey of Devils Lake performed by the Center for Lakes and Reservoirs at Portland State University. Key findings in the report include:

  1. 20 species of plants (4 non-natives)
  2. No Eurasian water milfoil found
  3. No Brazilian Elodea found
  4. Lake is largely devoid of macrophytes

Creation of 2013 Goals: The board discussed prospective goals of the District for the coming year for final prioritization in the January meeting.  The existing 2012 goals are as follows:

  1. Develop and implement a strategy for the aquatic vegetation management and control.
  2. Finish the septic tank revitalization program creating an ordinance which will provide the data necessary to complete the septic systems database. Use that database to estimate septic tank loading as part of the total watershed nutrient load.
  3. Increase District’s time spent on the lake to promote communication to property owners, while conducting a lakeshore photographic survey. Also re-evaluate the cyanobacteria postings from the District.
  4. Determine the source of E. coli on Thompson Creek.
  5. Determine the methods we can use and those to collaborate with to sewer the rest of the watershed.

Water Right Siletz Point of Diversion:  The Oregon Water Board requires annual reporting of water usage; the report for water use at the golf is now available and was discussed. The water rights are cumulatively for approximately 2.5 cubic feet per second (CFS).  The City and the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians made a successful application to Oregon Water Resources Department to create a second point of Diversion for a small portion of one of these water rights, specifically 75 acre feet (AF) of water.  Total water use by the golf course was approximately 14 acre feet, far from the maximum allowed use of 75 acre feet.

Non Agenda Items:  There were none.

The meeting adjourned at 08:45 pm.

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Lake Level Report – Septic Systems

SEPTIC SYSTEMS

A section from the Lake Level Monitoring report contained in Staff Report from the December 13, 2012 board meeting material.  This section drafted by Seth Lenaerts.

In order to determine the impact of lake level on septic systems, the following areas were considered.

  • Design standards
  • Groundwater levels and movement
  • Soil characteristics
  • Septic attributes

Design Standards Overview

Design standards are subject to change and evolve on an annual basis. The most dramatic one time change was in 1974, when the Onsite Wastewater Management Program was created and the Department of Environmental was charged with running the program. Previously septic systems had been under the jurisdiction of the Health Department.

For the sake of this discussion, current design standards for traditional systems will be referenced. Keep in mind variances are allowed and DEQ will allow such variances depending on certain conditions. In addition, a property owner can use an advanced treatment technology which may also allow them to vary from the design standards for a traditional system.

Design standards were developed in order to protect the land, surface water, groundwater, and public health. Minimum design standards are intended to meet these criteria. Minimum design standards specify many aspects of the system including, depth of septic tank, linear feet of drainfield, drainfield trench depth, soil characteristics, depth to bedrock or hard pan, depth to groundwater, and setbacks from property lines, public water ways, utilities, and wells. Continue reading

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DLWID Goal Setting Workshop Report

The Devils Lake Water Improvement District Board held its Goal Setting Workshop on Saturday October 13th at 10:00am in the City Hall Council Chambers located on the third floor of City Hall.

Informational Presentation: Lake Manager Paul Robertson gave a presentation on the current goals of the District.  You can download the presentation with this link.  The presentation walked the board through the components of the Devils Lake Plan, including the top five priorities.  These priorities include aquatic vegetation management, septic tank revitalization, communications, bacteria source tracking, and developing strategies for sewering the lake.

Lake Survey: The results of the recent survey published by the District were presented after the informational presentation; it can be found at the end of the downloadable presentation. In total they received 190 responses with 71 coming from the senior fair. The results were presented separating those which came online from those that came in paper form primarily from the fair.  Some of the most popular positive responses pegged septic inspection, sewers, invasive species and grass carp as priorities.  The balance of the responses were less clear cut but informing nonetheless.

Public Comment: There were 4 interested parties in attendance. One person commented sharing a concern that the past year it has been difficult between the public and the Board with tough issues like lake level on the table. The Board was encouraged not to misinterpret the presence of lakefront property owners.   The board was asked to consider that more often than not their decisions significantly impact lakefront residents as evidenced by the lake level decision, as well as septic inspection, sewering, planting guides, etc. It was further explained that the District has many positive things going including the septic inspection program as long as water shut off is removed.  The SOS program was given as another positive and it was suggested that it could be expanded to include planting in the lake to help alleviate erosion issues in certain locations. Concerns were expressed with any plans the District might make that would see it be actively involved in drafting ordinances.  Rather it was suggested they should limit their activities to advocating to State, County and City legislative efforts where appropriate.

Board Comments: The Board carried on a discussion on a variety of topics. There was a mix of opinions on the CAFÉ on whether it should be in the current plan or just have the priority lowered.  Some questioned the activities in the get the lead out program. There was some mention that with the increase in stand up paddle board use there may be more interest in a lake clean-up event as you can see the trash at the lake bottom from this activity.  Some felt that the D-River should be dredged to reduce e-coli levels created by seagulls and make navigation possible. There was a suggestion by a board member that all of the items in the plan were great but lack of funds would hamper their enactment suggesting an increase in the tax base.  Some talk surrounded the topic of phosphorus and nitrogen in soap and fertilizers and what the District might do to lower their use. There was a lengthy discussion on the potential of moving forward with a dual path on the septic inspection ordinance with both the City and the County instead of concentration solely on the City ordinance.  This may alleviate the need for water shut off as an enforcement tool.  It was stated that in the past the County was less willing to participate then the City.  It was felt however that since the process began there may have been a change in the situation.  There was some discussion on ideas of activities that could occur on the lake that the District could promote such as a jet ski race or SUP and/or kayak event, etc.  Finally, it was suggested that the District needs to establish criterion for success, so each project can be judged for impact.

Next Steps:  The meeting was summarized and staff was asked to create a report to be presented to the Board in the December meeting.  Goals will be developed and prioritized after that presentation.

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October DLWID Board Meeting Report

The Devils Lake Water Improvement District Board meeting was on Thursday October 11th at 6:00pm and was held in the City Hall Council Chambers located on the third floor of City Hall.

Informational Presentation: Randy Trox, Onsite Program Coordinator from the DEQ’s Eugene Office gave a presentation about how the DEQ’s onsite program (septics) has been working to update their rules and assure compliance with the Coastal Zone Act Reauthorization Amendments (CZARA). The State is responding to a Federal lawsuit won by the EPA contending that the State did not meet the requirements of CZARA. The draft rules will required a extensive septic tank inspection at the time of transfer including production of maintainence records, pumping, exposing of system components, inspection and evaluation.  The DEQ will provide certification of the system.  Failing systems will not prevent transfer of the property but repairs on the system will be required.

Public Comment: There were 5 interested parties in attendance. Most commentary centered on the current condition of the lake; both its low level and high algae content. Several expressed extreme frustration with the smell and inability to enter the water.  Some shared examples of how they were unable to moor their boat due to low lake levels. Evidence was presented suggesting that lower lake levels did indeed led to warmer lake temperatures and higher algae levels.  Pictures were presented to document areas where sea walls have been jeopardized due to lake levels below their foundations.  The board was asked to take action to ensure this would not occur in the 2013 season.

Septic Ordinance: There was an attempt to express that the ordinance that the District seeks to work with DEQ to ensure that the inspection criterion match making it possible use a DEQ inspection to meet the local requirement and visa-versa.

Save Our Shoreline: The District authorized $2,200 to replace some plants and weed the two SOS projects at the boat ramps.  The work will be performed by a local contractor.  A discussion occurred related to the progress on the SOS video to be used to promote the program which took a back seat to the Revival this month.

Vegetation Management: The District’s contractor Max Depths is still in the process of creating a application to allow the placement of additional grass carp when required.  The Board has yet to receive a document to review.   The project’s time line will need to be extended.

Aquatic Plant Survey: Second phase of the survey was completed between September 17-19. A full report of their findings is to be available in November.

Sewer: Brian Green reported that consideration by the City has been delayed until December.

Communications: The District has circulated a lake survey in advance of the October 13th planning conference.  They received 120 surveys prior to the meeting.

MidCoastTMDL: The Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) continues the planning process for developing a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for 303(d) listed waterbodies in the Oregon Mid-Coast Basin. There was a meeting in August that provided worked though the categorization of various bacteria in mid-coast lake bodies.  More information about the Districts role can be found at http://www.dlwid.org/Projects.html#TMDL.

Summer Intern: Alyssa Clayton gave a report on how she has I have continued weeding and watering weekly at East Devils Lake State Park and Regatta Grounds. She has finished creating a digital archive of the Audits and the majority of the Budgets. The next step is putting them online, so that they can be easily accessible by the public. She has made a series of demonstration videos, meant to teach future interns how to carryvout the sampling and laboratory techniques for DNA analysis. She also worked at the Chinook Winds Casino Senior Fair.

Water Quality:  Water quality monitoring ended Labor Day.

Lake Level Monitoring:  The District has been conducting some lake level investigation for potential impacts to recreational users and properties. They have been collecting on boat docks, stating that they have visited over ¾ of the sites thus far. They also intend to include a photographic vegetation survey as well as compiling septic tank data and information that may be applicable. They will be documenting fish passage on the D-River. It is the expectation that a report will be given in the November meeting.

East Devils Lake Road: Lincoln County is in the process of drafting a report that details the background, issues, and most functional design alternative for East Devils Lake Road. The Salmon Drift Creek Watershed Council will share the report, upon completion, with the District.

Additional Board Comment: Brian Green commented that he felt the comments provided related to the lake condition were valuable.  He said that when the Board said they would collect information about the impact on the lake and he felt the comments and material represented just that.  He stated that the material should be taken into account.  Noel Walker noted that he deals with boaters and has heard nothing but negitive comments this past summer.  He also stated that this was not the time to make that decsion but he also appreciated the information.

The meeting adjourned at 08:20 pm.

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August DLWID Board Meeting Report

The Devils Lake Water Improvement District Board meeting was on Thursday August 9th at 6:00pm and was held in the City Hall Council Chambers located on the third floor of City Hall.

Public Comment: There were 7 interested parties in attendance. There were some supportive comments and appreciation shared for the Devils Lake Revival. Additionally, gratitude was expressed for the actions take in response to comments made last month related to Thompson Creek and general lake monitoring. Other issues discussed included …

Septic Ordinance: There was nothing to report on this topic.

Save Our Shoreline: A verbal request was mad asing lakefront homeowners to participate in a Save Our Shoreline Project. Also announced was a class jointly produced with the Salmon Creek Drift Creek Watershed Council on Rain Gardens. class the District sponsored was given. The class is $20 and will be held October 25th at the Lincoln City Community Center; all are welcome. A discussion occurred related to the creation of a SOS video to be used to promote the program which took a back seat to the Revival this month.

Vegetation Management: The District has been creating a application to allow the placement of additional grass carp when required. This document is under internal review. The District recently conducted phase one of a Aquatic Plant Survey using the resources of Portland State University. The main purpose of this survey was to provide a starting point for future observation. According to the report there was a variety of species present. Some twenty-plus species were observed, mostly native plants. No Eurasian Water Milfoil, nor Brazilian Elodea; in all there were 100 points of collection. The Project Manager is working on updating a economic impact study that was used in the original grass carp application. Part of the grass carp application is a engineer stamped map describing all the inlets and outlets of the lake. To save money the District is trying to receive ODFW’s approval of making due with recent aerial photography, LiDar and topographical.

Sewer: Brian Green reported by letter that letters have been sent to property owners impacted by the proposed LID outlining the terms negotiated with the City. So far responses have been positive with a probable majority maintained.

Communications: A review of the Devils Lake Revival was provided; pictures are posted on the District Facebook page. There was also a discussion on the revision to Water Quality postings which now show the new Thompson Creek canal sight. The District has been involved in several educational opportunities that help proliferate information about the lake to the greater public.

MidCoastTMDL: The Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) continues the planning process for developing a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for 303(d) listed waterbodies in the Oregon Mid-Coast Basin. There was a meeting in July that provided a summary of progress to date and there is no meeting scheduled for August. The work right now is being done in the working groups and is primarily related to how to determine the source and scale of nutrient loading in all mid-coast watersheds.

Summer Intern: Alyssa Clayton gave a report on how she has been sampling every week monitoring the pH, temperature, conductivity DO content, Secchi disc depth and turbidity in the lake as well as watching for cyanobacteria blooms and posting water quality updates. She has edited the Shoreline Planting Guide, and worked on kids activities for the Devils Lake Revival. A request was made to keep the Intern through the end of September for a total of 714 hours for the season which was approved.

Water Quality: The Lake Manager provide on the latest HAB harmful algal bloom which began to appear last week. The bloom is expected to last 4 to 6 weeks. It was stated that lowering temperatures usually cause our blooms to die out. Also the District has added a new site on the Thompson Creek canal. While the original site and Rock Creek are no longer shown on the postings the samples are still taken. There are plans to do some DNA and location testing later this year in a attempt to locate the source of high readings.

Lake Level Monitoring: The District will be conducting some lake level investigation for potential impacts to recreational users and properties. This will include a spot check of safe moorage for 30-50 randomly selected properties and all the public launches. They will be taking photos of vegetation and will compile septic tank data that may be applicable. They also intend to document the period of full fish passage verse that which is limited by the dam. A brief discussion occurred related what the ending lake height would be based on public comment. It was agreed that the target would be 8.7 feet.

Regatta Stage: The District is promoting participation in efforts to add a state to Regatta Park. The District will buy a brick and each board member present pledged to buy a brick. More information can be found by emailing regattastage@gmail.com.

Non Agenda Items: Board member Kip Ward asked all docks be surveyed for depth to provide support for antidotal comments made by homeowners. It was stated that having the information would be useful for future decisions. He also wanted the dam to be modified to have a larger opening for fish passage. The board directed staff to do both. A goal setting session was scheduled for October 13th. The Outstanding Service Award for a board member was awarded to Kip Ward.

Additional Public Comment: Final comments were provided related to asking for public comment on the design of the dock measurements to ensure they take into consideration the placement of boats and approach to docks. Additional comments were provided related to the design of the dam. They were encouraged to seek professional assistance in the design of any modifications as what seems logical such as “wider is better” is not necessarily true. Most fish passages are cut trapezoidal to increase water volume a levels lower. They were also encouraged to look into what was done for lamprey passage at Bonneville Dam as a great deal of research has recently performed on that subject.

The meeting adjourned at 07:45 pm.

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July DLWID Board Meeting Report

The Devils Lake Water Improvement District Board meeting was on Thursday July 12th at 6:00pm and was held in the City Hall Council Chambers located on the third floor of City Hall.

Public Comment: There were 15 interested parties in attendance. Several comments were made as a follow up to the past two Board meetings in particular the lake level public hearings. There were several corrections to the minutes suggested. One person came forward to express support on the lake level decision in that he felt it was a reasonable process, and further stated that his three parcels were not negatively impacted. The District was asked if they had made any specific plans to study the impact of the new lake level on erosion, Coho salmon runs, lake temperatures, blue green algae, and septic water tables during the summer season. A request was made for the District to develop a specific plan to actively determine the source of high e.Coli levels on Thompson Creek. A comment was made that the District should not donate toward the repairs on East Devils Lake Drive, that is solely the County’s responsibility. He also said he had been in contact with Jet Ski Associations that would like to have a race on the lake. He volunteered to organize the event but wanted the Board to discuss the possibility of this type of event on the lake. Continue reading

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Lake Level Is Going Down .53 Feet

Many Attend The Second Public Hearing

The second public hearing on lake level began the June 7th Devils Lake Water Improvement District board meeting. This hotly debated issue has occupied space in board meetings over the past four years. Tonight by my count 79 people came to the meeting to share their opinions with the board.

We will cover the discussion in a minute since I’m sure you are more interested in the outcome. After hearing the public testimony the board had a brief discussion and took action. They considered the text of a resolution offered by the public and eventually they came to a decision. The board considered modifying their water right as filed at the Oregon Water Board, which would have been almost impossible to reverse. Instead the motion was made by David Skivin and seconded by Noel Walker to Change the District’s policy concerning lake level. Specifically, it shall be the policy of the District to construct the D-River dam on June 1st each year and begin impoundment on June 15th or when the water level falls to 9.0 feet and established a impoundment height of 9.0 feet MSL. The motion passed unanimously.

The meeting began with Brian Green rendering a position on whether or not any board members should recuse themselves from the decision. He stated that it was his opinion that this was not the case as a conflict is defined as having a financial gain. He stated that no board member had any possibility of financial gain from this decision.

Continuing, the lake manager walked through the same presentation he made at the first public hearing. His material was in favor of lowering the lake and/or never installing the dam. The presentation was 84 slides long and can be found at the previous link. The manager presentation lasted 45 minutes and was followed by a board question and answer period. Those questions related to the size of the gap in the dam, the impact on blue green algae and the impact of the decision on the District’s grass carp application.

The first member of the public was able to begin at 7:15pm. A total of 33 came to the podium and spoke. 9 spoke in favor of the dam removal and 24 opposed it.

The board was presented a petition that was signed by 500 citizens interesting in the lake. The petition requests them to leave the current policy in place with the lake held at 9.53 feet. Several comments from those petitioners were read into the record. A total of 87 of those who signed left comments for the board. It was explained that these signatures were collected online, door to door, and at a few key retail outlets in town. They stated that this method insured that a cross section of lake users is represented. It has some lakefront homeowners, we have some local Lincoln City residents, and it has many signatures from those people who come to Lincoln City to enjoy the lake and the beach. They stay in hotels and vacation homes, eat in local restaurants, and shop at local businesses.

One person said the lake is filling in and that dam is accelerating that process. He felt that the removal of the dam would slow this process. Another described the wetlands like a lung that can’t be water logged and that can’t be good.

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DLWID Budget Meeting Report

The Devils Lake Water Improvement District Budget meeting was on Friday May 11th at 10:00am and was held in the City Hall Council Chambers located on the third floor of City Hall.

Budget Presentation: The Lake Manager started the meeting presenting the budget to the budget committee.  It described the five priorities that have been set by the DLWID Board in previous meetings. These priorities include:

  1. Develop and implement a strategy for the aquatic vegetation management and control.
  2. Finish the septic tank revitalization program creating an ordinance which will provide the data necessary to complete the septic systems database. Use that database to estimate septic tank loading as part of the total watershed nutrient load.
  3. Increase District’s time spent on the lake to promote communication to property owners, while conducting a lakeshore photographic survey. Also re-evaluate the cyanobacteria postings from the District.
  4. Determine the source of E. coli on Thompson Creek.
  5. Determine the methods we can use and those to collaborate with to sewer the rest of the watershed.

He then continued on to describe a list of other additional programs and activities the District maintains are presented.  Continue reading

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May DLWID Board Meeting Report

The Devils Lake Water Improvement District Board meeting was on Thursday May 10th at 6:00pm and was held in the City Hall Council Chambers located on the third floor of City Hall.

Public Hearing: The District held a Public Hearing as part of its May 10, 2012 meeting. (See related article) The purpose of the public hearing was for the board to take public input on the lake level and the District’s Water Right Certificate 69267, Permit to Appropriate the Public Waters #52672 and Permit to Store the Public Waters #R-11968. There were 61 in attendance that comment during the public hearing. The Board discussed the comments and made a decision regarding the water permits.  Brian Green moved to delay construction of the dam until a final decision is made after the second public hearing.  Kip Ward seconded the motion and the board pass the motion 4 to 1 with Noel Walker voting nay. Continue reading

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Large Crowd at Hearing on Lake Level

Many Interested Parties Attend This First Meeting

It’s hard to believe that this issue was debated during board meetings in 2009, and again in board meetings in 2010.  In 2011 the debate morphed into the erosion study with resulted in low lake levels beyond the 4th of July.  Tonight by my count 61 people came to the meeting to share their opinions with the board.

The meeting began with the lake manager walking through a presentation in favor of lowering the lake and/or never installing the dam.  He cited the request of un-named residents, the results of the erosions study, threatened Coho runs and overall lake health as reasons.  The presentation was 84 slides long and can be found at the previous link.  The manager presentation lasted ss hours and was followed by a board question and answer period.  The first member of the public was able to begin at 6:50pm.  A total of 25 came to the podium and spoke.

The board was presented a petition that was signed by 200 citizens interesting in the lake.  The petition requests them to leave the current policy in place with the lake held at 9.53 feet.  Several comments from those petitioners were read into the record. Continue reading

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