City Manager Says Inspection Results Will Vindicate Septic Program
The News Guard
Several lakefront homeowners have called on Devils Lake officials to oppose Lincoln City’s moves toward a septic tank inspection program, saying the City has failed to provide proof that septic systems are polluting the lake.
Speaking at the Dec. 1 meeting of the Devils Lake Water Improvement District, homeowner Mark Highland said the program was being “railroaded through” by City Manager David Hawker. Continue reading
The News Guard
Citing the importance of Devils Lake to the Lincoln City area, city councilors have decided to pursue the idea of a new tax to pay for the installation of sewers throughout the watershed.
At its Nov. 14 meeting, Lincoln City Council unanimously agreed to move forward with the idea of a tax in addition to the development of an inspection program for septic systems that are tributary to the lake.
Councilors agreed that the task of levying the tax should fall to the Devils Lake Water Improvement District (DLWID), which includes the entire city as well as the portions of the lake watershed beyond the city limits. Continue reading
District Requests Public Input
The Devils Lake Water Improvement District Board has just released The Devils Lake Plan and is seeking public input. We would encourage you to attend one of a series of Open Houses featuring the newly released plan. The Devils Lake Plan will eventually become the management plan for the District, guiding the District’s projects for many years to come. This is your opportunity to ask questions and to provide the District with your comments on the plan. The District is seeking to formally adopt the plan at its March 2011 Meeting.
The District has made the Devils Lake Plan available for your review in two formats, MS Word or Adobe PDF. Please download the plan and familiarize yourself with our lake’s future. We have reviewed the document and found it to be quite comprehensive outlining a multi-faceted management approach to the lake. Even still, our review raised some questions and perhaps generated a comment or two, and the District has created a public input process for us to do that very thing.
Each of the open houses will start with a short presentation. There will be ample time for you to ask your questions and provide the District your comments. The District has also made the presentation available online. Therefore, if you cannot attend one of the sessions you can view the slideshow of the plan here and still provide input using the District’s online comment form. You may also wish to provide written comments by email to the Lake Manager at Lake.Manager@DLWID.org an to the full board simultaneously at Board@DLWID.org.
Please mark your calendar for one of the featured sessions.
Open House Events:
Friday, January 28, 2011
- Session 1: 10 am – 12 pm
- Session 2: 2 pm – 4 pm
Saturday, January 29, 2011
- Session 3: 10 am – 12 pm
- Session 4: 2 pm – 4 pm
Thursday, February 3, 2011
- Session 5: 6 pm – 7 pm (as part of regular meeting)
Devils Lake Water Improvement District Office
820 SE Hwy 101, Suite D, Lincoln City, Oregon.
The November 25, 2009 meeting organized by Paul Robertson, Manager of Devils Lake Water Improvement District with the City of Lincoln City was intended to explore septic regulation for properties tributary to Devils Lake. Much of the material provided was from Dune City, Oregon identified as a model for a septic monitoring program. Given the prominence of material from Dunes City a review of the circumstances and details of their program are in order.
Lincoln City’s and Dunes City’s interest in septic regulation differ greatly. Lincoln City is interested solely because of the advocacy of Paul Robertson who believes based on a 30 year old study that leaking septic systems are contributing to cyanobacteria blooms in Devils Lake. Dunes City interest is based on a complex set of unique issues. The local lakes are the source of the community’s drinking water. Drinking water has been the focus of intense public debate in the community for years. These complex issues involve, historical water rights, the lack of a municipal water or sewer system, rapid development, allegations of official abuse of power and degrading water quality.
Dunes City is a City in Lane County, Oregon. The population was 1,241 at the 2000 census, and has increased to 1,360 in 2007. There were 705 housing units in the City. Residents of Dunes City , one of two cities in Oregon without a municipal water delivery system, rely on individual water systems to divert water for domestic purposes and this keeps water quality concerns before the public.
Dunes City has a unique set of circumstances, they source their drinking water from Woahink Lake, Clearwox Lake, Siltcoos Lake and private wells. Water is not provided from a common source, but rather from individual pipes (over 200) into Woahink Lake that feed single family dwellings. In some cases small community water systems have been created to feed water to several homes from a single lake source. Homes further from the lake shore use individual wells for their water. There is no sewage system in Dunes City, 100% of residences process waste water through the use of 814 individual septic systems. It is this unique situation that has driven Dune City to use of a variety of City ordinances to ensure residents have a clean source of potable water. According to a City official, in the three years since the ordinance was pass over 200 septic systems have been inspected and while repairs have been made on several systems less than 1% were identified as a “failed systems” requiring replacement. Continue reading