MINUTES FOR THE REGULAR MEETING
ASHLAND CITY COUNCIL
May 16, 2000
Civic Center Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main Street
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Mayor Shaw called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m., in the Civic Center Council Chambers.
Councilors Laws, Reid, Hauck, Hanson, Wheeldon and Fine were present.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
The minutes of the Regular meeting of May 2, 2000 were approved as amended: Councilor Reid requested further discussion on page 6, paragraph 6 as she did not recall this information; page 5, paragraph 5, last sentence should reflect that "the Clean Water Act does not allow dilution to the effluent before it is discharged."; and Mayor Shaw noted her appreciation of articulation on page 2 first paragraph.
SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS & AWARDS
1. Mayor's Proclamation of May 21 - 27, 2000 as "National Public Works Week."
Mayor Shaw read the proclamation in its entirety.
1. Minutes of Boards, Commissions and Committees.
2. Financial Report for nine months ended March 31, 2000.
Councilors Hauck/Fine m/s to approve the Consent Agenda. DISCUSSION: Wheeldon requested that the financial report be looked into at in a study session at some point in the future. Voices vote: All AYES. Motion passed.
PUBLIC HEARINGS (None)
Eric Navickas/711 Faith St./Noted that the comments by the EPA on the Ski Ashland project were critical enough to shut down that project for some time. Explained that he is here to speak regarding the Hillah Temple, noting that the building is in disrepair despite the prominent location and close proximity to the park. Suggested refinishing the outside of the building along with a new roof, and using rainwater for the bathroom facilities. Also asked that the parking lot be landscaped and the parking spaces be eliminated.
Marcus Scott/202 Ray Ln., Talent, OR 97540/Spoke as president of Lithia Artisans Market and noted the uncertainty of their situation, given that Calle Guanajuato in-stream construction will begin in July. He explained that Perozzi’s Cafe; has offered some space for the artisans, but that the space does not meet the need and requested the use of the Hillah Temple parking area. He noted the attraction of visitors that the Artisans Market provides and the diversity and quality of arts and crafts that are made available to the general public.
City Administrator Mike Freeman explained that there are too many uncertainties relative to the amount of space that would be required for staging during construction. The council agreed that this item should be put on the agenda for a future council meeting for discussion. Shaw suggested that the individuals representing the Market meet with the City Administrator and continue to look for a temporary solution prior to bringing the matter back to the council.
Laws noted for Navickas that the Hillah Temple remodel is budgeted for the coming year, and it will look better soon.
UNFINISHED BUSINESS (None)
ORDINANCES, RESOLUTIONS AND CONTRACTS
1. Reading by title only of "A Resolution Amending Appropriations within the 1999-00 Budget."
Councilors Wheeldon/Hauck m/s to approve Resolution #2000-10. DISCUSSION: Reid questioned whether money was merely being moved from a contingency within each fund; Freeman confirmed that this was the case. Roll Call Vote: Laws, Fine, Wheeldon, Reid, Hauck and Hanson, YES. Motion passed.
2. Reading by title only of "A Resolution of the City Council of The City of Ashland, Jackson County, Oregon, Authorizing the Sale of General Obligation Bonds for Flood Restoration Projects, Fire Station and Library."
Councilors Hauck/Wheeldon m/s to approve Resolution #2000-11. DISCUSSION: Shaw noted that the Library matter would only fall to the city if the item failed in the County election. Reid questioned how this would work if the item were placed on the ballot again by the County in November. Shaw noted that this would have to be discussed with the County, and that Freeman, Scoles and Nolte, would be the ones to approach the County. Roll Call Vote: Reid, Hanson, Wheeldon, Laws, Hauck and Fine, YES. Motion passed.
NEW AND MISCELLANEOUS BUSINESS
1. Council meeting Look Ahead.
This item was presented for council information only.
2. Wastewater Effluent and Biosolids Management Decision.
Public Works Director Paula Brown presented a brief overview of what needs to be accomplished tonight, and noted some changes to the figures that were presented in the council communication.
Briefly noted what sort of information would be presented tonight, and explained that a number of agencies were on hand for tonight’s discussion, including: Gary Messer and Jon Gasik from the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), Ron Hall from the Oregon Health Division, Al Cook and Bruce Sund from the Grants Pass office of the Oregon Water Resources Division, and John Warinner from Sylvan Systems. Brown explained that the Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD) and the Department of Agriculture had declined to become involved until the city has submitted a land-use application. Brown stated that she has had discussions of water trade and reuse on the hillside with the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW), Water Watch, the Oregon Water Trust, Talent Irrigation District (TID), and the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR), and they will all be part of that solution if the city chooses to irrigate on the hillside.
Carollo Engineers’ Bob Eimstad gave a brief overview of the history of the project which began with the initiation of the facilities plan in 1988. He explained that new state administrative rules implementing the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) limits for phosphorous, ammonia and BOD-in-stream in the Bear Creek watershed were put in place in 1989 and that the facilities plan, recommending summer irrigation and winter discharge to the creek with off-site biosolid application on the hillside, were completed in 1996. The final design started in 1997 with construction beginning in 1998 at the treatment plant. Pointed out that the controversy has largely involved the second phase of that project, dealing with off-site application of effluent and biosolids.
He stated that the water quality issues in Bear Creek were identified as the following: 1)the creek is classed as water quality limited for violations in dissolved oxygen (DO), pH and temperature; 2) phosphorus is determined to be causing the DO and pH violations of water quality criteria; 3) Ashland is the most significant contributor of phosphorous on upper Bear Creek and 4) the City must treat to meet either water quality criteria or cease discharge into the creek.
Eimstad explained that the new treatment plant design is intended to limit discharge to the creek to the wet season, from December 1 through April 30, with the effluent limits for biochemical oxygen demand, total suspended solids and ammonia that were in place at the time of the design. The design is intended to produce level II effluent from May 1 through November 30 and the plant is currently 75-80% complete.
Eimstad discussed issues with level II effluent reclamation, noting concerns with water quality & aerosol migration and explaining that modeling has been done, buffers extended, and sprinklers redesigned for pasture grass. Noted that they had also considered alternative agricultural practices, including poplar plantations. Also emphasized that there is agreement with DEQ to conduct air quality monitoring and testing of storage ponds for regrowth.
Eimstad cited surface runoff and impacts to TID canals as another issue that has been raised. Explained that buffers have been established and soil moisture sensors will be in place to prevent runoff. Noted as well that there are containment swales if other measures should fail. Continued by noting that there will be monitoring of water in the canals as well as of the surface water.
Briefly discussed seismic site stability, noting that they have worked with the Division of Dam Safety to receive their approval. Recognized that this is not a perfect site, but that measures have been taken to provide protection from potential hazards.
Eimstad explained that work has been done with TID, BOR and the Water Resources Department, to look at the potential loss of water in stream. Brown emphasized that the agencies she has consulted view the off-site plan as a plausible solution to the City’s needs. Brown noted that they are looking at a lease of the water rights, so that they will remain available for the property in the event it is ever sold.
Eimstad noted that there have been some questions about the water quality regulations, noting that these are part of the Oregon Administrative Rules (OAR) and that the DEQ is on hand for questions in the panel discussion.
Eimstad explained that the construction cost for the current design was $8.5 million, and that alternatives available range in price from $7.5 to $14.9 million in construction costs. Emphasized the need to consider operations and maintenance costs as well. Discussed that the "present worth" costs range from $11.3 million to $19.4 million.
Listed alternatives to the initial plan as the following: 1) discharge to creek year-around and keep biosolids on city property; 2) discharge to the creek year-around and abandon property completely; and 3) modify the proposed design for effluent usage alternatives, such as popular growth.
Eimstad recapped that for discharge to the creek, year-around limits would be 3mg/1 BOD, 0.75 mg/1 NH3-N and 0.08mg/1 total phosphorus, and emphasized that these limits are beyond the current design of the treatment plant. He also noted the following: 1)temperature requirements would be uncertain; 2)chemical addition and filtration could be required; 3) high capital and operating costs; and 4)high quality water-suitable for "unrestricted use." Eimstad noted that the technology exists to meet the limits discussed, but that it would require chemical addition and either tertiary clarification and filters or membranes. Stated that this redesign would increase capital costs $2.5-$4.0 million for a revised capital cost of $11-12.5million.
Briefly pointed out some biosolids options for a Class B product for agricultural land application or for a Class A product which has been stabilized to allow for sale as bagged fertilizer. Explained that if the property were to be abandoned, there would still be an advantage to some off-site storage. Noted that discharge to the creek year-round would increase cost of biosolids facilities, but that sale of the property could help to offset these costs. Noted that if the property were abandoned and year-round discharge pursued, the revised total capital cost ranges would be $12.6-14.9 million for Class A biosolids, and $10.7-12.2 million for a Class B product.
Discussed modifying pasture irrigation as an option to reduce the potential for aerosol migration from the site. Pointed out that they have done modeling of aerosol bacterial concentrations under several possible wind conditions. Noted that modifying the pasture irrigation would increase production cost by $500,000 and bring the revised capital costs to $9 million. Explained that the poplar irrigation option would reduce the capital costs to about $7.5 million.
Eimstad briefly summarized the options still available, as well as their capital costs and present worth costs.
As clarification for Reid, Eimstad noted that Ashland’s treatment plant effluent discharge represents 50 percent of Bear Creek stream flow at certain times of the year. Also noted that as conditions to their approval, additional geo-technical work was required by the Division of Dam Safety; this included boring through the debris flow and having a licensed engineer on-site during construction to ensure building is according to design.
Reid inquired about the LUBA decision Eimstad alluded to. Brown noted that this would have to do with the potential for an LUBA appeal. Eimstad clarified that issues have been raised by other state agencies relative to using EFU lands for municipal effluent application, and stated that the City Attorney could best answer questions on this item. Eimstad noted that Jackson County will need to make a decision on the City’s application before other agencies will get involved.
Eimstad clarified that membranes and filters cost more to operate, and that the need to replace them has to be factored into operating costs.
Eimstad confirmed for Laws that there are no costs presented for meeting temperature requirements to allow year-round discharge. Suggested that installing chillers, which he viewed as the most expensive, worst-case scenario, it would probably be in the range of $700,000 in capital cost with an operating cost of an additional $150-200,000. Stated that there may be less energy-intensive means to achieve temperature requirements, but emphasized that the potential temperature regulations are so uncertain at this point that it is difficult to predict costs.
Laws questioned the capital costs for de-watering the biosolids on-site. Eimstad noted that they have looked at this briefly, and that it would likely cost $4 million in capital costs to de-water on-site and haul to a landfill. Stated that this was in the same ballpark with biosolid application on the hillside, but that there were details that would have to be discussed before a definitive cost can be determined. Eimstad noted that his personal view is that landfills are not the best place for biosolids, and he believes that this view is shared by DEQ.
Relative to the aerosol migration issue, Eimstad clarified that bacteria die through desiccation as they are exposed to air and sunlight.
Shaw questioned the cost for dumping biosolids in a landfill, and asked if that cost is included in the revised capital cost figures. Eimstad noted that the landfill was not included in those figures, and explained that those figures had more to do with producing a Class A or a Class B product. Noted that they could develop a landfill option to compare de-watering at the WWTP site and trucking to a landfill for comparison.
Eimstad clarified that the total costs for designing and building the City of McMinniville’s treatment plant was $35 million. Stated that the individual unit costs have probably been conservatively figured for Ashland, but that there are differences in the limits that make it difficult to compare designs. Stated that the figures given are up to date for the technologies used in McMinniville, and noted that Roseburg’s design is cheaper but the cloth filters they are using could not meet Ashland’s limits at this point.
Laws recognized that Carollo has put in place redundant protective measures in the design, but questioned what would occur if any of the monitoring turned up results that were a concern. Eimstad explained that this might necessitate changing the wind conditions under which application could occur or adding a hypochlorite dosing system through metering pumps.
Councilors Laws/Fine m/s to have the panel discussion first, followed by the public input, and the panel to answer questions after. DISCUSSION: Shaw emphasized the need to provide ample time for the panel to address public concerns. Reid asked whether the panel was here for a presentation, or simply to answer questions. Brown stated that they were available for questions. Reid stated that the panel answering council questions first might provide information to inform public before taking comment. Roll call vote: Laws, Reid, Hanson, Wheeldon, and Fine, YES. Hauck, NO. Motion passed 5-1.
Panel Addresses Council Questions
Laws questioned Ron Hall of the Health Division regarding the letter from Mr. Kauffman of the Health Division, which raised concerns over the potential hazard posed by the aerosol effect. Laws asked about the Health Division’s concern with pathogens traveling a great distance with little wind, and about the previous statements from Bob Eimstad that pathogen tend to die off when exposure to air and sunlight.
Hall noted that all of the concerns of the Health Division have been adequately addressed, and that the primary concern was with the size and trajectory of the "big gun" sprinklers previously proposed. Stated that the Health Division is satisfied that concerns over aerosols have been addressed, and that they feel any theoretical health risks which might remain would be further ameliorated by using the poplar option.
Laws questioned Jon Gasik, of the Medford office of the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), about what could be done if the city could not get water to replace that taken from the creek. Laws noted the availability of replacement water may not be decided for some time, as the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) feels this will be a precedent setting ruling for a change of use that could create bureau-wide policy.
Gasik stated that the primary concern is to reduce phosphorous levels in the stream, and explained that the replacement water requirement was part of the Environmental Quality Commission (EQC) ruling as a way to waive biochemical oxygen and dilution requirements. Emphasized that DEQ does not want to be restrictive and limit the replacement water to water rights, as there are many ways to get more water into the stream. Pointed out that 5 cubic feet per second could be piped from Emigrant Lake, which is far more than is needed. Suggested that being more water-wise would be another way to save water.
Reid inquired who would have the right to saved water. Al Cook, Regional Manager for the Oregon Water Resources Division (OWRD), suggested that water saved once it was in the creek would revert to the state and be available to the next irrigator in line. Discussed the fact that some of the City’s water rights may predate the irrigation district, and therefore take certain BOR issues out of the picture. This determination would require looking at the nature of the City’s water rights.
Gasik stated his understanding that no one can file for water rights on municipal wastewater, but that laws could change. This could mean that in the future, the city would need to continue putting wastewater into the creek to supply water rights.
Hall clarified for Wheeldon that the Health Division has not looked at the biosolids issue, but explained further that the biosolids plans do not represent a new technology and the Health Division has no concerns.
Gasik confirmed that DEQ is a water quality issue first, and explained that DEQ is currently writing TMDL for temperature standards. Discussed previous EQC works to develop TMDL standards, noting that numeric criteria for temperature have been developed since then. When the TMDLs are prepared, the city will be assigned a waste load allocation for temperature and will be expected to comply with that temperature. Noted that this would likely involve a mutual agreement and order between DEQ and the City. Stated that these TMDLs should be released next year. Explained that the TMDLs are put in place for streams that do not meet the 64-degree standard, so that TMDLs vary stream by stream according to how they vary from the standard.
Fine questioned Hall regarding his statement that he sees no health hazards from the new sprinkler designs and that any theoretical risk would be ameliorated by the poplars. Asked Hall to explain what he meant by "theoretical risks." Hall explained that this has to do with the fact that the Health Division does not have full information; modeling was done based on coliform bacteria, but there are data gaps in applying this modeling to other bacteria’s types. Suggested that the decline in coliform populations is seen to represent the decline in other colonies by proxy, but they do not have certain data for all types.
Fine questioned Gasik about the 64-degree temperature requirement and whether this is a "movable bar or fixed bar?" Gasik explained that certain standards are reviewed every three years. Temperature was reviewed in 1996, but standards are under challenge from the Oregon Cattleman’s Association for being too stringent and from the National Marine Fisheries Services for being too lax in certain instances. Expressed his belief that the bar is movable, but stated that he could not predict the likelihood the bar would move with any certainty.
Gasik clarified for Hauck that standards have previously been relaxed in some instances, but these have been small refinements such as adjusting pH requirements for the unique environmental conditions found East of the Cascades.
Recommendation was made that if tertiary treatment is chosen, there is a confirmation from the consultant that cost figures are based on accurate volumes. Explained that producing a higher quality output will require removal and handling of a larger volume of solids, which would likely escalate costs.
Evan Archerd/120 N. Second St./Cited concerns with balancing cost and return. Suggested that cost is no longer an issue, as costs of comparable facilities in McMinniville, Washington County, and Roseburg are exceeding requirements at a construction cost of $5.7million. These costs reductions are the result of new filtration technology. Emphasized that the cost of advanced treatment has gone down while the value of the off-site irrigation property has increased to $2 to $2.5 million. Asked that Council do the right thing - sell the land and put the water back into the creek.
Katherine Iverson/1720 N. Mountain Av./Voiced concern with spreading Class B sludge on the land rather than tilling it in. Noted Senate hearings on the use of sludge and concerns over EPA’s sludge policy. Emphasized the conclusion of a report by EPA which states that they cannot assure the public that current land applications are protective of human health and the environment.
Hollie Cannon/2779 Camp Baker Rd/Presented a memo on behalf of the Friends of the Creek that identified hazards with the transfer of water rights from stored irrigation use to in-stream use.
Paul Kay/1234 Strawberry Ln/Would like overall water resource planning to be considered in deciding what to do with the wastewater effluent. Recommended using the hillside for spray irrigation, and designing this to return water to the creek over time.
Amelia Arapoff/1969 E Nevada St/Voiced concern with sewage spraying effecting the organic classification of her farm. Suggested that the winds in the hillside area are different from what is at the airport, and that testing should occur here. Also questioned why the city is not thinking of a sewage treatment plant, gave the amount and rate of growth.
Karen Rasmussen/1530 N Mountain Av./Favors membrane filtration and returning water to the creek. Suggested that if spray irrigation is desired, it should be done on parks, sports fields and campuses. Expressed her disappointment that DEQ did not provide more accurate measurements of how far water might travel. Feels that there is absence of information on outcomes. Suggested that membrane filtration is a known entity that she can support.
Harry Cook/710 River Rock Rd/Noted original health concerns previously raised by the Oregon Health Division having to due with pathogen travel in winds of 2-4 miles per hour, and with disinfection occurring at the bottom of the hill. Questioned how these concerns have been eliminated when the disinfection has not been changed.
Ron Hall stated that Mr. Kauffman is still involved in the case, and the original concerns were with aerosol mobilization from the big guns. If that were the method of irrigation, they wanted to see the high quality effluent possible used to begin with. Explained that those concerns have been eliminated with further research and modifications to the plan. Emphasized that they have followed up with state microbiologist and state epidemiologist and available literature, and it has been determined that regrowth might occur and would not likely be pathogenic organisms.
Russ Silbiger/562 Ray Ln/Commented that the city has an obligation to put back into the creek what we take out of it. Suggested that a spray irrigation plan is a short term, temporary solution that does not address the need to replace the water in the creek.
Ron Roth/6950 Old Hwy 99S/Does not feel that the city can consider taking water out of the creek without replacing that water. Pointed out that the city could be required to provide irrigation water to those with senior rights. Suggested that there is a need to look at the project from a fisheries and wildlife enhancement standpoint and stressed the importance of keeping the water in the creek. He suggested that constructed wetlands be placed on the hillside to enhance Butler Creek for fish habitat. Brown clarified that ODFW was not invited, as DEQ was the lead agency for the matter at hand. It was emphasized that ODFW has been involved in discussions. If wetlands cannot happen, Roth expressed his support of tertiary treatment to keep the water in the creek. Suggested that the City needs to make a formal request through the Governor’s office to look at the phosphorous requirements given the background levels.
Mark Abelle/850 Cambridge St/Asked council whether they have the right to spray the citizens with an aerosol of pathogens. Stated that as a medical professional he does not feel there is a guarantee that the aerosol can be cleaned or prevented from reaching the citizens of Ashland. Suggested that there are only two valid options: tertiary treatment or piping to Medford. Stated that he favors tertiary treatment, with wetlands used to address temperature requirements.
Lyn Horstemeier/920 Cambridge St/Commented on receiving notification of a neighbor spreading biosolids as a potential hazard. Questioned cost savings in relation to the poplar planting versus the useful life of a plant. Questioned the city being in the business of farming, and also questioned seismic concerns and the need to remove phosphates from the hillside as they build up. Suggested purchasing water from Medford rather than taking it out of the creek in the first place.
John Semple/185 Almeda Dr/Noted his confusion with the process and commented that there seems to be no comparable system to make comparisons. Suggested choosing a course of action based on proven methods and doing the right thing.
Gasik clarified that his understanding after speaking with McMinniville was that the $5.7 million cost was merely that portion of their treatment plant cost associated with phosphorous and ammonia removal. Explained that $5.7 million was not the cost of the entire treatment plant in McMinnville, and stated that you cannot make a comparison based on that figure.
Gasik stated that he was not familiar with the issue raised by Katherine Iverson about congressional hearings on the land application of biosolids. Explained however that the DEQ has operated a Class B biosolids program for some time now, with full EPA oversight. Stated that the DEQ has no information that anyone has ever gotten sick from Class B biosolids.
Confirmed that every treatment plant in the nation treats biosolids, and that in Oregon they are tied into nutrient needs for agronomic benefit. Explained that sites are visited and inspected and that all conditions are taken into account. It was noted that DEQ biosolids expert Paul Kennedy visited the current site, and that he had indicated that topography would make tilling very difficult.
Clarified for Reid that they are not aware of any lawsuit involving the Department of Agriculture concerning agronomic use of biosolids. Stated that the current litigation has to do with proposed pretreatment from a single industrial producer (Praegitzer/Tyco), and has nothing to do with municipal waste being used on farmland.
John Warinner of Sylvan Systems stated that he would not recommend tilling, but that it would depend on how the site cover vegetation was to be managed. Explained that poplars have a shallow, slow-growing, broad rooted, and tilling could very well be problematic. Suggested that surface application of biosolids was appropriate based on cursory evaluation of the site, but that it would require design work specific to the site to verify this. Also noted that Sylvan is flexible with how economics is structured, and explained that poplar plantations can be designed to use any amount of water within a 2-3 acre feet range.
Shaw questioned the potential effect over-spray might have on organic certification of crops. Ron Hall clarified that the Department of Agriculture is working on criteria for the labeling of organic crops. Stated that he speculated that natural effluent would not be a disqualifier, but the issue was not under the Health Division’s jurisdiction.
Al Cook of the Oregon Water Resources Division (OWRD) Regional Manager noted that they had objected to the use of "big guns." Stated that the new design has taken those objections into account. Cook explained that ORS 547 has two required provisions applicable to the use of reclaimed water: 1) consultation with DEQ and ODFW; and 2)addressing a formula driven liability issue the city might incur having to do with removing effluent from the stream after they’ve lost control of it.
Bruce Sund, OWRD Assistant Regional Manager, noted that all water rights in Oregon are "first in time, first in rights." Explained that the city has historically picked up water rights as subdivisions are approved and put the water rights into storage. Noted that if senior water rights were not being met by in-stream flows, junior users would be shut off. Noted that there is historically not enough water, and that 1950 water rights can be shut off in May. Noted that even a 1852 right has been shut off due to lack of water.
Sund discussed the adjudication process going on in the Klamath Basin, which will continue for some time. Noted that if the pre-1909 claims from the Klamath Basin exceed the amount of water available in Klamath, then that water would no longer be available in the Bear Creek basin. Sund stated that he would not even attempt to guess at the potential outcome of this adjudication process.
Councilors Reid/Hauck m/s to continue the meeting until 10:30 p.m. Voice vote: All AYES. Motion passed.
Hanson questioned DEQ Western Regional Water Quality District Manager Gary Messer’s statement that finer filtration will produce more biosolids to be dealt with. Hanson asked Eimstad to explain the amount of biosolids produced now. Eimstad explained the complexity of this issue, given that solids are added in the filtration process in the form of alum which is then filtered back out to reduce the phosphorous. Suggested that the incremental increase in solids volume would be in the 20-25% range for the higher level of treatment.
Brown clarified that the city produces around 18,000 gallons of biosolids per day, which is trucked off in liquid form at about 1% solid. Stated that this translates to roughly 4-6 truck loads per day.
Shaw asked the panel to address the concerns which have been raised concerning earthquakes and phosphate build up. It was noted that plants will take up phosphates into their tissues, meaning there will not be a build up. Stated that the earthquake issue would fall to the geologist with Division of Dam Safety. Brown confirmed that the Dam Safety geologist had been to the site. Eimstad stated that another geotechnical specialist had also looked at the site in the value engineering process and presented a report.
Warinner explained for Fine that the irrigation proposed for the popular were full-coverage sprinkler heads to yield high value wood. Explained that high value wood will offset costs to the city. Stated that the sprinkler proposed is optimal from a cost stand point, as smaller heads clog and larger ones throw water too far.
Hall explained for Fine that, as a rule, when you take care of pathogenic bacteria, you take care of the viruses as well. Explained further that primary risks involve respiration, which is why there was an aerosol concern. Stated that the health hazard posed by aerosol migration is minimized by the measures being taken.
Reid questioned risks posed by chemicals used both as medication and for household cleaners. Panelists noted that ammonia and bleach kill pathogens and in the process of reacting with them they are destroyed. As such, they go away quickly. Other chemicals are looked for in water toxicity testing.
Brown explained for Fine that relative to meeting to temperature standards, in a worst case scenario the city would look at mechanical refrigeration to cool effluent. Fine questioned the impact of refrigeration on the Quiet Village area in terms of noise and the appearance of the refrigeration unit, and questioned the environmental impacts of using electrical power to cool water for Bear Creek. Eimstad explained those package chiller units could be combined with heat exchangers to chill effluent that could be contained within a building, but it has never been done. Emphasized that temperature issues are impacting the Northwest due to salmonid species protection, and that these standards are much less stringent in other parts of the country. Recognized that this would be energy intensive, and that it would not be a particularly desirable solution.
Eimstad reiterated that this would not be a good solution, and suggested weighing costs versus other options. Explained that it all depends on the outcome of the regulations, as an end-of-pipe limit of 64 degrees would mean there would be no evaporative cooling method available.
Eimstad emphasized that there are differences between what it is going to take to get the stream into compliance and what it is going to take to get the city’s effluent into compliance with temperature requirements. Eimstad continued by explaining that the temperature discussion will continue for an extended period before Ashland will have to chill effluent, and stated that he was trying to point out a worst case scenario for council to consider.
Gasik noted that tertiary treatment will address the phosphorous requirement, but stated that temperature is going to be applicable as well. Suggested that irrigation has the advantage of resolving temperature concerns. Stated that the odds are very high that tertiary treatment will address all issues except temperature, and the city will need to be prepared to deal with using a temperature correction program if they are not using land irrigation. Stated that the water rights issues complicate this issue for Ashland somewhat more than in other municipalities, as it becomes a balancing act between several issues.
Gasik reiterated that DEQ should be expected to identify the most environmentally friendly option, the most permanent option, and the most cost-effective for the city. DEQ is on record with regard to these issues, and their views have not changed. Suggested that if the city opts for tertiary treatment, it will likely not address the need to correct the temperature and as such will not be a permanent fix.
Reid stated that the city will be taking ten times the water from the stream as is being received in water rights from the property, and questioned how taking this much water can be a good idea. Bruce Sund stated that the water being returned to the creek is one half of what is being returned, not one tenth.
At 10:30 p.m. the meeting was continued to May 19 at 1:00 p.m.
Submited by Barbara Christensen, City Recorder