One of the justifications suggested by some for using the discontinuance of water service on the septic program is the statement that the City already requires residents to have garbage collection service under threat of discontinuance of water service. It is important to note that the City has never suggested that the rules that pertain to garbage service apply to the proposed septic tank ordinance.
The City requires residents where they have jurisdiction over garbage service, that’s within the city limits to have a minimum level of garbage service. They have used the threat of discontinuance of water service to enforce this rule. The City has not imposed any rule requiring the collection of garbage on residents where they have no jurisdiction over garbage service, that’s outside the city limits. Continue reading
The Lincoln City Council meeting occurred Monday January 11th at 7:00pm which included public comment and a staff presentation on the Septic Revitalization ordinance. The City Manager withdrew his recommendation to proceed. The City Council rejected his withdrawal and directed him to continue to work on the matter.
The public testimony in opposition pretty much followed that given in the DLWID Board meeting on January 7th. Testimony in support was DLWID Board chair Brian Green who read into the record the resolution passed at the board meeting adding that the Board might be able to bring back a resolution with different wording to a future Council meeting. A representative from the Salmon Creek/Drift Creek Water Shed Council supported the draft ordinance and conveyed a lake so polluted you couldn’t swim in it.
City Manager David Hawker made a presentation on the ordinance. Continue reading
On December 3, 2009 an update and preliminary position paper on a possible program to regulate septic tanks tributary to Devils Lake was sent to the Lincoln City Mayor’s office and each of the City Council members from David Hawker Manager of Lincoln City. The document’s stated goal is to “Examine means to reduce pollution in Devils Lake from faulty septic systems.”
The City’s primary means to accomplish this goal is Section 13.12.050 (B2) of the Lincoln City Municipal Code. More specifically
“The city may reduce the quantity of water supplied by the service or entirely discontinue the service at any time, on a temporary or permanent basis, and by area or areas or by customer or classes of customers, in accord with such policies as the city may establish from time to time by ordinance or resolution adopted by the city council.”
Map of Septic Systems on Devils Lake
The document describes the reasons for this action. Devils Lake Water Improvement District provided the information justifying the creation of a Septic Revitalization Program. The District references the 1998 placement of Devils Lake on the EPA 303(d) list where we enjoy plenty of company as it took 288 pages to list impaired water bodies in Oregon alone. Also referenced is a 29-year-old study identifying septic tanks as contributing 25% of the nitrogen and up to 14% of the phosphorus in the lake. The referenced study was amended in 1982 because “upon examination of the water quality data collected, it was concluded that additional water sampling was necessary to fill in data missing during the high recreational summer and autumn use periods”. This second study performed by the DEQ suggests that excessive Fecal Coliform measurements attributed to septic systems were limited to samples taken near Thompson Creek.
The City Manager believes there is sufficient scientific and anecdotal information that septic systems are part of the problem. He feels the City has a responsibility to act. Continue reading
Filed under City, DLWID, Septic