Lake Level – DLWID Perspective

By now you should be aware that changes to the summer time lake level are once again on the DLWID Board agenda.  We feel it is important to understand the Districts perspective on this matter and we are fortunate that our Lake Manager wrote extensively on the subject in the Managers Report.  It is unusual for us to post such a large excerpt; normally we would simply provide a link.  In order for there to be no misunderstanding or re-interpretation we included the text from the report pertaining to lake level in its entirety. We do feel compelled to note that in the fact checks and clarification section the report mentions some inaccurate statements made by a blog.  This was not as we have not yet reported on the water rights issue.  We’re still checking our facts; we do make mistakes but not this time.

Except from Devils Lake Manager Report 2010-06-03

Lake Level: Potential operational changes to the dam are being discussed at this meeting as additional information about lake level has been presented that represent that much less recreational water use benefit (e.g. deeper water at docks and shorelines) may be apparent at 9.53’ than assumed. Meanwhile many of the 22 property owners, that petitioned the District in 2009 for a lake level of 9.0 feet may be being impacted without substantial benefit to other lake users as previously assumed. Copies of that petition and subsequent flier distributed by an equally concerned homeowner opposing any change in the water level are available as reference items on our website. Working through these seemingly conflicting interests is thus to be addressed at the District’s next meeting. Public input will be afforded, but please limit your input to a concise statement at the beginning of the process, reserving additional comments should you have them for the end of the meeting.

Current Status: Currently (2010-05-27) the lake is sitting at 9.5’. The latest lake level measurements are available on our Water Quality page of the website ( Currently one section of the dam is open again at this time as rains have brought the lake up and fish passage issues are at least being attempted to be mitigated for by pulsing and/or section removal. This period of pulsing and/or whole section release will end after May 31st. The utilization of the dam from June through October, is thus open for consideration.

Current Considerations: It had been voiced in March 2010 meeting that if the dam was not installed in April, many properties would not have access to the lake for additional months. A motion was made to install the dam allowing for the new lake contractor the flexibility to allow for fish passage by means of leaving one section out of the dam providing the lake level could be maintained between 9.5’ and 9.3’ through June 1, 2010. At the time of the meeting (March 4, 2010) the lake level was 9.0’ above MSL. It was stated by a member of the audience that at this lake level many properties would not have access to the lake. Data were subsequently gathered by two of the District’s board members to investigate the potential impact on users at this same lake level of 9.0’. This presentation was made at the April 4, 2010 meeting and is available online at our website on the Project page under Lake Level (Director Presentation 2010-04-01 UPDATED). Some of the conclusions of that presentation were that nearly all of the properties surveyed the depth of the water when the lake was at 9.0’ was sufficient for drafting a typical pleasure craft. Where draft was insufficient at the far end of the canal on Thompson Creek, the addition of 6” of water to 9.53’ would have marginal benefit. For a complete review please revisit the slideshow from our website. Additionally a comprehensive review of this issue of the 2009 review is also available online (Staff Presentation 2009-04-01 ). What is presented below is new or additional information in no particular order that may be pertinent to the board discussion and decision on this issue along with some summary issues from previous meetings.

Water Rights: Rock Creek & Siletz POD: Irrigation of the golf course in our watershed came before City Council Monday 2010-05-24 for consideration. This is a proposal between the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians (CTSI) and the City of Lincoln City for selling water from the City’s existing water right on Rock Creek, a tributary of Devils Lake for irrigation of the Chinook Winds Golf Resort. This water right is held by the city, and as a municipal right it a permanent right, originally obtained by the town of Oceanlake. In fact, an existing, but unused pipe runs under Devils Lake that once served this community. As many will remember in 2006, the Devils Lake Water Improvement District, partnered with the Salmon Drift Creek Watershed Council, USFWS, ODFW and the City to alter a dam at the current Point of Diversion (Approximately River Mile 3.2) for fish passage. The current proposal would be to add a second Point of Diversion (POD) on this certificated municipal water right. City Council voted unanimously to approve this agreement. Continue reading

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Filed under DLWID, Lake Level, Lakeside, Rulings

Attend the June DLWID Board Meeting

The Devils Lake Water Improvement District Board meeting will be held in its offices above Radio Shack Thursday June 3rd at 6:00pm. The best way to stay informed is for all lake front homeowners and interested parties to attend these important meetings.

There are many topics of importance to lake residents on this month’s agenda.  These discussions include; a specific proposal to lower summer time lake levels from 9’5.3″ to 9’0″, as well the impacts of a proposed contract between the City of Lincoln City and the Siletz Tribe to extract water from D-Lake to irrigate the golf course under an existing City water right on Rock Creek . The meeting will contain a a public hearing on the proposed 2010-2011 annual budget.  The board will discuss its new plans perform an erosion study in support of the lake level decsion and provide updates on the Septic Tank Revitalization program and the City’s effort to create a draft ordinance.

Please follow the links below to access the latest agenda, staff reports and meeting minutes:

Agenda 2010-06-03
Agenda and Staff Report 2010-06-03
Meeting Minutes 2010-05-10
Meeting Minutes 2010-05-06

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Filed under Budget, DLWID, Meeting Announcements

City to fund Roads End water fix

Councilors direct staff to speed up annexation

The News Guard

Lincoln City Council has approved a move to spend $400,000 to safeguard water supply to a portion of Roads End on the understanding that City staff step up efforts to bring the neighborhood within the city limits as soon as possible.

“We are holding out a hand in good will,” Councilor Gary Ellingson said, “and we want to be on the absolute moral high ground of this issue. And we hope that when we deal with annexation that we will be treated the same way.”

The money would be spent to create a bypass around a failing booster station that pumps water to 38 homes in an area of high ground around N.E. Port Drive.

“One of these days it’s going to become irreparable,” City Manager David Hawker said, “and we are going to have 38 empty homes.”

At Council’s Monday, May 24, meeting, several members expressed concern at the prospect of spending so much money on a project that serves customers outside the city limits and who contribute no property tax to City coffers.

The City’s 25-year contract to provide water to Roads End expired in 2003 and has not been renewed.

“It was planned that Roads End would have annexed to the city prior to the expiration,” Hawker said. “That agreement has long since expired, and Roads End has not annexed.” Continue reading

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Filed under City, Lakeside, Rulings, Septic

Lake Level Update

We recently requested and the lake level measurements from DLWID since the installation of the dam.  It appears that the lake has maintained a level between  9′ – 3″ and 9 – 5.3″ as designated by the District.  The arrows in the diagram below indicated the following;

A. Currently designated summer lake level (After June 1st)

B. Minimum permissable interim lake level (April 15th – June 1st)

C. Proposed change to summer lake level (After June 1st)

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Alert: Lake Level May Be Lowered Again

Based on the recent actions of the  Devils Lake Water Improvement District at their May board meeting we received an email from concerned lakefront resident Mark Christie.  As outlined in the message you should note that the DLWID has determined that lake level should be re-visited in June.  We feel that the couple of proponents of lowering the lake have already won two concessions from residents who do not feel the lake should be lowered. Concession number one, the lake level was lowered for the 2009 summer season and the majority felt it to be a workable level.  Concession number two, in March 2010 residents were asked to defer the placement of the dam until June 1st; residents accepted the lower levels associated this this request.  Now we are being asked to live with these lower levels all summer.  The original request when this began was for the dam to be set to 8′-6″, is that the next request? We concur with Mark that residents should attend the June meeting and let your voice be heard.

Text of email from Mr. Christie sent 5/13/2010

URGENT ALERT !!!!! Lower Lake Level Likely – You Need To Act Now
I want to give you all a heads up! I am very concerned about the possibility of a lake level adjustment downward (as much as a  5.3” lower starting level than originally approved in March) that could be made at the June 3rd meeting of the DLWID Board. There was great discussion at the March board meeting around lake level and contracting with a new lake contractor (Bill Sexton) for installation of the dam boards and monitoring for the summer.
The Board took action at the March 4th 2010 DLWID meeting to set the lake level at a range between 9.3 feet and 9.53 feet between April 15th and June 1st  and at 9.53 for the balance of the summer season ending October 15th. The lake level last season was established by the Board to be at 9.53 feet after lengthy discussion at the May 7th 2009 Board meeting.  Based on 30 water depth measurements taken near the mooring slips of docks along the Eastern shore of the lake by Board members David Skirvin and Randy Weldon; they have concluded their research indicates that the concerns of unusable properties due to lower water levels were unfounded. Based on this conclusion the Board is considering lowering the 9.53 level to9.0 feet as a starting point for the season.
Just when you thought the lake level issue was put to bed for the season (March 3, 2010 meeting) the DLWID Board changes their minds and plans on re-visiting this important issue at their June 3rd meeting at 6 pm.: Physical Address: 820 SE Hwy 101, Suite D, Lincoln City, OR 97367.
I encourage you to come June 3rd and share your thought and concerns. In addition, I encourage you to send your communication to the Board: [email protected].
Additional information about lake level and the current 2010 Budget proposal is available Hope to see you June 3rd.
Mark R. Christie

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SolarBees have mixed effect on water quality at Blue Lake

By Matthew Preusch, The Oregonian

May 14, 2010, 7:33PM

Water clarity has improved at Blue Lake three years after Metro spent tens of thousands of dollars on algae-combating machines, but the devices may be abetting the spread of troublesome weeds.

“What we’ve found is that the pH has been a little bit worse, the water clarity has been a little bit better, and the toxic-algae problem has been about the same,” said Metro biologist Elaine Stewart.

The regional government and the solar-powered devices’ manufacturer say, however, that it’s still too early to render a verdict on whether the money was well spent.


Matthew Preusch/The OregonianIn 2007, Metro and homeowners on Blue Lake invested in three SolarBee water mixers to try to combat blooms of blue-green algae at the lake east of Portland. The solar-powered machines churn the lake water to limit algae growth.

Metro manages the popular 130-acre park on the lake’s north shore and cooperates with homeowners on the south shore over lake regulations. It split the $150,000 cost for the three SolarBee water circulation devices with the homeowners Continue reading

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Filed under Algae Bloom, Invasives, Performance, Scientific Study, Solarbees, Solarbees, Water Quality

DLWID 2010-2011 Budget Committee Report

The Devils Lake Water Improvement District held its annual budget committee meeting in their offices on Monday, May 10th, 2010.

The meeting lasted 5 hours and was attended by DLWID staff, four board members, three budget committee members, and two observers.  The order of business was a presentation by the District Manager of the proposed 2010-2011 budget, followed by public comment and discussion by the budget committee.  Budget modifications were adopted by formal resolution of the budget committee.

For a complete description of the presentation made by the Lake Manger see the narrative in the 2010-2011 Proposed Budget.  The discussion that follows is presented by budget section and attempts to capture the discussions of the public, and budget committee. Also described are the proposed actions of the committee.  The next step in the budget process is to publish the modified budget by May 19th followed by a budget hearing and adoption on June 3rd. Continue reading

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Filed under Budget, DLWID, Meeting Reports