Category Archives: DLWID

First level for information about DLWID

Attend The August DLWID Board Meeting

The Devils Lake Water Improvement District Board meeting will be held in its offices above Radio Shack Thursday August 6thh at 6:00pm. The best way stay informed is for all lake front homeowners and interested parties to attend these important meetings.

There are several interesting items on the agenda including the election of officers and placement on a new board member to the seat vacated by Smokey Aschenbrenner. Follow this link to download the Meeting Agenda and Manager’s Report.  Highlights include

  • DEQ 319 Grant
  • Board Swearing In
  • Lake Level
  • Native Vegetation
  • Lake Intern Repor
  • Water Quality

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Filed under DLWID, Meeting Announcements

Criticism of DLWID

From Opinion Column
News Guard
July 15, 2009

I read with interest your articles regarding the Devils Lake Water Improvement District.

Communication is the chief problem with the organization! No newsletter! They do have a Website but many of the district’s taxpayers do not own computers.

The Board of Directors holds its meetings on Thursday evenings. Why? Over 50 percent of DLWID members are weekenders. Why not hold the meetings on Saturday mornings?

A mailing list can be obtained from the County for very few dollars.

To spend that much money on SolarBees is not smart. Spend the money to sewer the east side of the lake. That would clean up the lake more than the SolarBees.

Jim Overgaard


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Filed under DLWID, Solarbees, Uncategorized

Support for DLWID

From Opinion Column
News Guard
July 15, 2009

After reading the July 8 story about the cyanobacteria scare at Devil’s Lake, I really had a good laugh. At first I thought I was reading the script from Jaws, where the Mayor is complaining to the Chief of Police that he can’t shut the beaches at Amity, it will hurt tourism! (After all only a few people were killed by the shark.)

Well here you have a few people who live around the lake, and no doubt have been contributing to the algae bloom due to their septic systems, complaining about the manager warning everyone of the danger.

The DLWID Manager Paul Robertson made sure that everyone knew that the Lake was having problems. Good Job Mr. Robertson – you did the right thing for the right reasons!

For those who criticize Robertson, keep in mind that the DWLID has a legal responsibility to notify the public when serious health issues show up in the Lake water. It is called “vicarious liability.” (If you don’t know what it means, look it up!)

If any child, adult, or even pet were seriously injured or died due to contact with that water, and the district had kept it to itself – what do you think would happen? The next article would be describing the lawsuit in Federal Court.

So before you complain about somebody doing their job – think first! Robertson deserves a pat on the back, not a kick in the pants!

David R DeSau


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Filed under DLWID, Solarbees

Communications Committee Needs Your Help

During the June 4th Devils Lake Water Improvement District board meeting the board created a communications committee. They were charged with assessing methods of communicating between the board and the community.

The committee felt it important to receive input from the community and it was suggested that the nosolarbees site may be one way to accomplish that goal.  We have created a Communications Committee page so you may leave your comments and suggestions.  Please visit the page to help improve communication between citizens and the water district.

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Filed under Communications Committee, DLWID

Other lake projects

From The News Guard
July 8, 2009

The district is working on several other projects aimed at tackling the excessive nutrients that fuel cyanobacteria outbreaks.

The board agreed to contract for the creation of a water quality database, using data from 1957 onward, so that the effectiveness of future habitat restoration projects can be effectively measured.

Robertson said the database would also lay the groundwork for an upcoming project from the Department of Environmental Quality to determine what level of nutrient inflow the lake can cope with per day and how that inflow can be reduced.

The database project makes use of a $15,000 grant from the DEQ and requires about five weeks of staff time as a match.

The district is also hoping to partner with Lincoln City and Lincoln County on a septic tank  revitalization program to identify septic tanks that are leaking into the lake and encourage owners, through a mixture of incentives and penalties to fix them.

Finally, the district is working with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife to develop a way of encouraging the growth of native vegetation, which can act as a buffer against inflowing nutrient’s as well as preventing shoreline erosion.

Robertson said ODFW has advised shielding planting sites with a fine mesh to prevent them from becoming a habitat for predatory fish that prey on young Coho salmon.

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Filed under DLWID, General Information

Lake warning draws fire from residents

The News Guard
July 8, 2009


An alert about potentially toxic cyanobacteria on Devils Lake in the run up to the Fourth of July prompted criticism from some lakefront property owners at the’ July 2 Devils Lake Water Improvement District meeting.

Lake Manager Paul Robertson posted yellow alert signs July 1 after noticing an increase in green slime on the lake surface particularly at Regatta Grounds and East Devils Lake State Park.

Similar cyanobacteria blooms last summer and fall produced levels of liver toxin that exceeded state and World Health Organization limits for recreational water use.

Robertson said the yellow alert signs, which warn lake users to stay clear of scummy water, were posted as a precaution in accordance with the district’s cyano-watch program.

Robertson also gave radio interviews in which he warned that water skiers could be at heightened risk of exposure to any toxins produced by the bloom if they breath in vapor when skiing through scummy water.

Lake resident Bud Depweg said Robertson is scaring people away from the lake, “I think that’s wrong,” he said, both businesswise, which doesn’t mean anything, but because so far, in my 34 years [as a lakefront property owner,] I have yet to see anyone get sick because of skiing through this green slime that’s all over the lake.”

Lake resident Larry Brown said Robertson should not be allowed to speak on behalf of the district’s board of directors without authorization.

 Board Vice-chair Jack Strayer said Robertson has discretion to speak to the media when he feels it is appropriate.

 Robertson said informing the public about potential risks is a key part of the cyano-watch program.

 “What’s the point in developing a program if you’re not going to tell people about it?” he said.

 The district is scheduled to run toxicity tests on the bloom Thursday, July 9.

Brown also called for the district to change its water sampling methods, saying samples should be taken at set times and at set locations in the middle of the lake, with the collection and analysis done by outside companies.

Speaking before the meeting, Robertson defended the district’s current policy of “incident-based” sampling, which involves testing water quality whenever a bloom occurs.

He said cyanobacteria scum tends to accumulate around the edges of the lake, where children and dogs, who would be more vulnerable to any toxins, are most likely to be at play.

“You really put yourself at risk of  underestimating what the levels might be if you only rely on the mid-lake stuff,” he said.

After the meeting, Robertson said the district is working on the logistics of taking mid-lake samples in addition to shoreline samples.

Determining the severity of the lake’s  cyanobacteria problem will help decide whether the district will pursue a whole lake circulation project, such as the installation of 20 SolarBee water agitators on the lake surface, in an attempt to deny the bacteria the calm water they need to bloom.

A recent surge of opposition to the SolarBee idea convinced the board to shelve any further action until questions about the cyanobacteria risk and whether the modules have any history of causing boating accidents.

Lake resident Mitchell Moore urged the board to go a step further and  pronounce the SolarBee concept dead and take advantage of the public’s newfound interest in the district to move forward on other projects that have widespread support.

Brown said the board and Robinson should focus on arranging events such as water skiing displays, fishing derbies and kayak races to build camaraderie among lakefront property owners.

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Filed under Algae Bloom, DLWID, Solarbees, Water Quality

DLWID July Board Meeting Report

The DLWID held its July meeting this evening which was attended by about 20 residents.  Public comment continued on the SolarBees® issue addressing safety concerns, aesthetics and need.  This discussion was capped with a reminder to the board of  John Morris’ comments that “there is no amount of additional information that would justify putting 20 devices on a recreational lake.”  The board was encouraged to put SolarBees® in the past and concentrate activities that are supported by the public.  This message was well received.  Other topics that received public comment included the potential of adding grass carp to the lake, which included a description of the original permit, changes in law and the status of the DLWID rejected permit request.  Comments were also made on the districts initial plans for a septic tank renovation plan.

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Filed under DLWID, Meeting Reports