By Patrick Alexander
The News Guard
March 17, 2010
Lincoln City’s grease problem came to head Wednesday. March 10, when a. blocked sewer line led to the discharge of 50,000 gallons of sewage onto City-owned woodland just south of Devils Lake. (See Spill Report to DEQ)
City workers discovered the spill eight days after someone passing the wooded area south of the SE 3rd Street reported a foul odor.
Lila Bradley, the City’s public works director, said the spill was caused by a grease blockage in a sewer line about a mile south, at S.E. 19th Street, and that the backed-up sewage had diverted into a abandoned line that crosses the woodland.
“If it had stayed in the area of the blockage, we would have found it much faster.” she said. “It was an investigative process to find it. Continue reading
Filed under Septic, Spills
This article appeared in the News Guard reporting on the March 8th City Council meeting. As the article reports it is our understanding that the City Attorney must still draft the ordinance and that the DLWID will hold at least one public meeting on the matter once a draft ordinance is made available for review.
By Patrick Alexander
The News Guard
3/10/2010 5:00:00 AM
A septic system inspection program with water shut-off as the ultimate penalty for non-compliance is set to become law after Lincoln City Council approved the approach at its March 8 meeting.
Details of the program will be decided later this year through a process that will include public hearings but both Council and the Devils Lake Water Improvement District (DLWID) board of directors have agreed on the main points:
- The program will require all 632 properties with septic systems within the Devils Lake watershed to have an inspection every 10 years.
- Properties whose systems are seen as being most at risk of failure, due to age or the type of tank used, will be top priorities for inspection.
- The City will contract with a private operator to do the inspections, with individual property owners footing the bill.
- Septic tanks will be pumped only if the inspector deems it beneficial to the system.
We have recently added the capability of authoring a post on the go. With new software for an Android mobile phone we can update you on the fly. This is a great improvement over the previous mobile posting technique. The image in the post was taken on Loop Drive of a Advanced Treatment System. This ATS was installed in Neotsu last week to replace an undersized septic associated with a remodel.
On Monday March 1st, DLWID and Lincoln City met to discuss differences between the district’s and the City’s ideas related to a septic inspection program. The group created a draft of compromises and the outcome was reported to be very productive.
In attendance were: Mayor Lori Hollingsworth, DLWID Chair Brian Green, City Councilor Chester Noreikis, City Councilor Gary Ellingson, City Manager David Hawker, Lake Manager Paul Robertson, DLWID Intern Seth Lenaerts.
The tone of the meeting was said to be very positive with all parties looking to move forward on this issue and to create a meaningful ordinance to assure that septic systems within the Devils Lake watershed are functioning to design. Continue reading
Lincoln City Manager David Hawker will request a continuance of the scheduled discussion on the planned septic ordinance until the March 8th Council meeting, stating a planned meeting between City officials and DLWID could not be scheduled until March 1st.
In his February 8th Memo to City Council Mr. Hawker suggests “that many opponents are not well informed, or pick and choose bits of information they believe will help their case.” He further states that opponents main objections are;
A. That there is no evidence showing that septic systems pollute the lake, or have little impact.
B. That septic tanks don’t need inspection or pumping.
Let’s clear up a few of these misconceptions.
1. Opponents are not opponents but rather affected parties who wish to be included in the process that creates this ordinance. Indeed, this group supports the responsible operation of county approved septic systems and share a similar goal of a clean and clear Devils Lake. Continue reading
News Times, Newport OR
Friday, Feb 12th, 2010
BY: Terry Dillman
Lincoln City Council members worked toward resolving differences of opinion that arose over recommendations by City Manager David Hawker for establishing an inspection program designed to reduce pollution stemming from failed or failing septic systems around Devils Lake.
Monday night’s session continued a discussion begun during the Jan. 11 council meeting, where Hawker asked the council to consider an ordinance requiring all lakefront property owners to have their septic systems inspected or face having the city shut off their water. The request hit a snag with the Devils Lake Water Improvement District (DLWID) Board of Directors, who passed a resolution in January backing the ordinance idea, but only if city officials dropped the water shut-off provision. Continue reading
The septic revitalization program has brought many issues to light. Many opinions have been expressed on this and related topics. We have been accused of spreading misconceptions; this is not our goal and when possible we try to set the record straight. There is a vibrant discussion occurring between residents all around the lake. Some statements that have been made may warrant further investigation. Clearly, it is important that the most accurate information will be used to solve the issue.
We are trying a new segment on this website entitled “Straight Talk” which represents our best effort to clear up statements we may have made or those made by others that could result in misunderstandings. These articles are genuine attempts to get the facts correct by thoroughly researching the issue. Despite our best efforts, there still is a potential that additional information exists that could further clarify an issue. We remind the reader that this is a two way medium and encourage you to comment or email any additional information or corrections that may be required create a more accurate view of the topic.
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
The Devils Lake Water Improvement District held its First board meeting of the New Year in their offices on Thursday, January 7, 2010. The meeting was attended by 35 interested parties. I will attempt to cover the entire meeting in this report, if your major interest is the septic revitalization program, select the link below labeled “more” and look for the septic revitalization heading. Otherwise read on…
After minor corrections to the minutes and additions to the financial report the first action taken by the board was the appointment of Joe Barnes to fill the open board seat. I would like to thank Mr. Mark Christie and Mr. Douglas Pirie for their willingness to serve. Due to the large crowd the agenda was adjusted moving the public comment following the scheduled presentation on the septic revitalization program.
The District Manager, Paul Robertson reported that he is pursuing different methods to frame enforcement actions against property owners that have modified their property in a way that would warrant a land-use complaint. The District has been meeting with the Department of State Lands staff structuring an argument that Essential Salmon Habitat endangerment could justify an enforcement action. Other aspects of enforcement involve the Flood Plain Permits required by Lincoln County for activities in flood-prone areas which could establish the jurisdiction required to take an enforcement action. Continue reading