Make the McKenzie Connection!

Could a pressurized sewer system help town's comeback?

Following 12 months of construction, sanitary district would target 2025

BLUE RIVER: A recently completed community wastewater study outlines some services that could support the Blue River community as it recovers from fire damage and outlines ways it might continue to grow. Some of those goals include prioritizing the revitalization of the downtown area, protecting the McKenzie and Blue Rivers, and attracting people back to the community.

Based on the number of active water hookups there are now an estimated 80 dwellings serving a population of about 160 people. That compares to approximately 140 residences and a population of 280 before the Holiday Farm Fire of 2020.

After evaluating three alternatives, a small-diameter pressurized sewer system was recommended for Blue River. It would convey sewage with pressurized flow by small individual pumps at the user connection point.

When a feasibility Study is complete, it would be followed by design and engineering phases which are projected for completion by the end of 2024. Then, the construction process could extend another 12 months for completion at the end of 2025.

Because of damage related to the fire, the sewer work won’t be the only utility project in the area. It will coincide with the rebuild of the municipal water distribution system which likely will see lines that parallel each other down the main streets, with a clearance of 10 feet or no less than 5 feet.

The study looked at locating drain fields at the Blue River Park and the Three Sisters Meadow site. Each should be able to handle an average flow of 2,500 gallons per day by using a modular packed bed filter system. At that capacity, each could serve an average of 8 homes. Estimates are that capacity might be expanded to twice that flow rate at the park and up 1o 10,000 gallons per day at the Meadows property.

Using The City of Lacey’s system as a reference, the annual cost was estimated to be $10,198 for each hookup.


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