Friday, November 30, 2007

Central Oregonians turning Deschutes into poop-chute

I know some of us on think the sprawling development in Cetral Oregon is a pile of shit, but this is ridiculous. According to a study from the U.S. Geological Survey:

The Deschutes and Little Deschutes Rivers in southern Deschutes and northern Klamath Counties, which receive part of their flow from ground water, are vulnerable to contamination by wastewater from conventional on-site wastewater treatment (septic) systems, according to the findings of a study by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). The USGS investigation was a part of efforts by Deschutes County and the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality to assess environmental impacts in a 250-square-mile area near La Pine, Oregon, where increasing residential development has led to increases in nitrate concentrations in ground water that drains to rivers.

Nitrates from people's home septic systems are leaching towards Oregon's blue ribbon trout stream. Nitrates promote excessive growth of aquatic plants and algae, causing large variations in dissolved oxygen concentration and pH that can be harmful to fish and other aquatic organisms.

Deschutes County is battling the problem by trying to establish new rules, including the requirement that new construction projects adopt the highest performing nitrogen removal systems available and all existing systems need to be upgraded in ten years. So why not a closed loop sewer system? County officials say it would take too long.


matt_stansberry said...

Nobody wants to comment on the poop-chute post eh?

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