Lakeside wastewater treatment plant

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality personnel will visit Lakeside this next year to inspect the city's plant. City personnel want to replace the older pumps with ones that stand, making it much easier to maintain and operate the station.

LAKESIDE — Just as with its neighbor Reedsport to the north, infrastructure remains a key topic these days.

City Administrator Curt Kelling said the wastewater treatment plant was finished in 1979, adding that "stream gauge is one issue."

Lower water in recent years was key. Two summers ago "when it got so low it kept us out of the creek level."

A stream's contour in turn changes the stream's bottom.

His task is to make sure the elevation on the stream converts cubic feet per second.

The city has been notified by the Oregon DEQ that "we're up on the 10-year mark on our plant so it's time to renew our permit." State personnel will review the plant operations. This will happen next spring.

City public works employees have to examine volume and with himself, they need to look at the measurements at the plant  and then report on the discharge reports to DEQ as quickly as possible for effluent measurements.

"It's not bad. It's just not as scientific as I would like," he said.

As it stands now, the four main pumps go into the plant. All sit underneath the plant, where the waste holding tank is located. Engineers originally designed the structure so that tubes went into the bottom, pumping waste. The difficult part however is that laborers have to take the pumps out of the station hole. These sit in the floor.

Instead now, to make the effort much simpler, city officials are looking at replacing these with pumps that would stand on the floor.

"It's a big project," Kelling emphasized.

The city is looking at just under $200,000, including for engineering.

"We'll know the final figures when we take it out to bid," the city administrator said.

John Waddell, who's the semi-retired city engineer for Lakeside, has been busy helping Reedsport with its levee and boat launch projects as Kelling noted. Eventually Kelling hopes to get Waddell back on board for the wastewater treatment plant project but for now, it's a balancing act for Waddell between both communities as Kelling pointed out.

The rate change $45 of 2007, a flat amount for all residents. The amount for businesses is slightly higher.

He's paid off the United States Department of Agriculture loans and now these are bonds that have been issued and purchased. From an original $4 million debt in 2007, that's dropped consistently.  The city is saving $659,000 because of refinancing three federal loans for the plant. Kelling has paid those federal loans off and turned them into one for $2.895 million.

Since the summer of 2016 the city staff "have updated all the control systems in the place." These are mainly the computer and electrical systems.

There are two lift stations for the treatment plant, one at North Lake and one behind city hall on Park Street. There's also a need for getting irrigation system to the Lakeside airport. Alarm systems will be added as well.

The Umpqua Post Editor Shelby Case can be reached at 541-269-1222, ext. 296 or shelby.case@theworldlink.com.

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Umpqua Post Editor