Sewer System & Pressure Sewer System

The Lincoln County Sanitarian (Environmental Manager) has said that septic systems and drainfields do not remove all the nutrients from wastewater. Nutrients not removed from septic systems around the lake, eventually flow down into the lake water. Nutrients can contribute to algal growth and eutrophic conditions in the lake.
   One of the goals of the Preservation Association of Devils Lake's is to sewer Devils Lake. In 1998, the Preservation Association of Devils Lake (PADL) and the Devils Lake Water Improvement District (DLWID) mailed out a survey to 798 property owners around the lake. Surveys returned totaled 387 (48.5%). To the question - do you want sewer service to your property? - 193 answered yes (50.5%).
    Lincoln City's Wastewater Master Plans have been updated. There are two parts:
   1) Collection System Master Plan - management of the pump stations and trunk sewers only. This includes the city's 33 pump stations.
   2) Wastewater Facilities Master Plan - All the city's wastewater flows to the Schooner Creek Wastewater Plant at the south end of town. As areas are added to the system, updates must be made at the wastewater facility.

The two plans were adopted by the City Council of Lincoln City.
• The Collection System Master Plan was completed in July of 2003.
• The Wastewater Facility Master Plan was adopted in July of 2004.

The Lincoln City voters passed a bond measure in November of 2004 for up to $22 million to fund wastewater facility and collection system improvements.

*Recommended reading: The Wastewater Master Plans can be checked out of the Driftwood Library for three days. The plans are very informative with helpful pictures, charts and maps.

Annexed areas on the west side of Devils Lake
The city has recently annexed enclaves of property to the city. The collection system and pump stations serving those areas are in the plan.

Unannexed areas on the east side of Devils Lake.
Two populated areas outside the city, but within the Urban Growth Boundary (UGB) that are not sewered are Neotsu and Sand Point at the north end of the lake. A third area is along East Devils Lake Road. The Collection System Master Plan recommends, "Based on the current City codes, the area residents have two alternatives for having the City provide sanitary service for them.
  1) The first is to annex to the City. Following annexation, the City will work with the residents of the area to bring sanitary service to the area under the Cities current codes and guidelines.
  2) The second alternative is for the area residents to form a private sanitary district and construct their own collection system. They can then choose to contract with the City to provide treatment services in a similar arrangement to the Roads End Sanitary District. They can also construct their own treatment plant and operate as an independent sanitary district."
   The east side of the lake along East Devils Lake Road was included in the plan.
   The recommendation was to use pressure systems with grinder pumps for homes below the road.

Pressure Sewer Systems
The following is from the Collection System Master Plan of Lincoln City.
   An analysis of the use of pressure systems within the service area was performed. It was determined that there are specific areas where pressure sewers are the best alternative for collecting the wastewater. The results of an analysis recommended the use of grinder pump systems when pressure sewers were to be used. Pressure sewers are appropriate in two instances.
   1) The first is for single homes where the house lateral cannot flow by gravity to the City's gravity sewer due to topography (i.e. lakefront property). In these instances, the homeowner is to install a grinder pump system that pumps the sanitary waste to the nearest manhole of the City's gravity sewer. The system will be wholly owned and maintained by the homeowner. The system that is installed is required to meet the minimum requirements the City has established for private home sumps.
   2) The second use of pressure systems is for a group of homes. These systems can only be used in areas designated in this plan as pressure sewer sub-basins. These sub-basins have been identified as such due to their unique topography and placement in the collection system. In these instances, the area will be served by a series of homes with independently owned grinder pump systems. These individual systems will utilize a small diameter pressure sewer system to transfer flow to the City's gravity system. The pressure sewer system must discharge to a manhole and must be constructed to the minimum requirements the City has established for pressure sewer systems.


Estimated costs for Capital Improvements to the
Collection System for the UGB properties
. The costs below do not include the laterals lines to the homes, and grinder pumps for homes needing them. Those costs will probably be the responsibility of the homeowner. A $2,500 System Development Charge (SDC) to connect to sewers is charged.
   1) Neotsu - $1.3 million, which breaks down to under $4,000 per home
   2) Sand Point - $2.3 million, which breaks down to under $8,000 per home. To include this area, a new pump station will be constructed.
   3) East side of the lake - $3.9 million
   The 2003 Collection System Master Plan did not evaluate the collection systems within the individual pump station basins.

As areas are added to the city's sewer system, upgrades to the city's wastewater treatment facility on Schooner Creek will be needed to handle the added capacity.

The city can sell bancroft bonds to pay for the wastewater project. The homeowner would then pay back the city the total cost at one time or over a period of time, such as ten years.

Potential sewer funding sources
Because Devils Lake is a 303 (d) limited water quality body, there may be grant funds.

Guidelines for homeowners with sewers:
Keep paints, used oil, solvents, and other household chemicals out of drains, sinks, and toilets. Ask your local government where household hazardous wastes can be disposed of safely. If a local collection service for house hold hazardous wastes is not available, ask for one.
   Do not put grease down the drain, sink or toilet. Put grease in a tin can and harden in the refrigerator. When the can is full of grease, empty the contents in the garbage.
   Recycle and dispose of all trash properly. Never flush non-degradable products - such as disposable diapers or feminine hygiene products - down the toilet. These products can damage the sewage treatment process and end up littering beaches and waters.
   Use nontoxic household products where available, and ask your local stores to carry them where they are not. Read labels carefully before you buy.

Loop Drive Wastewater -
Unsewered areas -
Local Improvement Districts
Form an LID with your neighbors - It takes a majority of over 50% of the area voters. The city will help incorporated areas. Preliminary costs are available from the city. Areas outside the city such as Johns Loop in Neotsu (about 85 lots) may look at other options. The city prefers gravity systems over STEP - may need new pump stations.
With the recent real estate market, the pressure is on to develop lots that lack sewer hookup or adequate percable land for a septic tank drainfield. Loop Drive (Sand Point) has lots inside the loop and lakefront that lack wastewater solutions.
1. New Lincoln County environmental engineer. Works in Lincoln County planning.
2. Jim Buisman is the Lincoln County public works director.
3. Matt Spangler is the Lincoln County planning director.
4. Lila Bradley is the Lincoln City public works director.

Sewer documents

Lincoln City's
Master Plans
Two documents
Driftwood Library

1. Collection System Master Plan - 33 pump stations

2. Wastewater Facilities Master Plan - plant upgrade

Sewering Devils Lake: A Grassroots Political Response - Dell Isham, 11/15/97, PADL

Sand Point Sewer District
- Option concerning formation of a sanitary sewer district in the Sand Point area on the East Side of Devils Lake, Attorney Joan M. Chambers
1/24/95, PADL


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Copyright © 2003-2011 Preservation Association of Devils Lake (PADL).
All rights reserved.

P.O. Box 36
Lincoln City, OR 97367