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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
1. Collection System Master Plan - 33 pump stations
Wastewater Facilities Master Plan -
Lake: A Grassroots Political Response - Dell Isham, 11/15/97, PADL
Point Sewer District - Option concerning formation of a sanitary
sewer district in the Sand Point area
East Side of Devils Lake, Attorney Joan M. Chambers