City on course to improve systems


Last updated 5/16/2023 at 2:26pm

Utilizing past usage data and future population forecasts, Anderson Perry and Associates created models that informed the City’s new water and wastewater master plans, which were both recommended for approval to the City Council by the Public Works Advisory Board.

They evaluated the condition, performance, and available capacity of the four existing City wells, the reservoir, infrastructure, the equipment located at the City treatment plant and the city-wide sewer lines and lift stations.

The quality of the Sisters water is good, and the sources are reliable. There is a possibility that within the next 10 to 20 years it may be necessary to increase the source supply. Additional storage is needed to supplement the 1.6-million-gallon reservoir currently online, so a new 2.2 million gallon reservoir will be built. A third transmission line will run from the new reservoir to the west end of town, which will increase the pressure flow to the schools, churches, and subdivisions in that area.

Long-term improvements include drilling Well No. 5 near Edgington Road. The water capital improvement plan is heavily loaded on the front end, and can be reevaluated in five years.

Public Works Director Paul Bertagna reported that overall water production decreased by 18 percent in 2022 despite the growth in population. There has been a decrease in the maximum demand for water since the data that was used for the modeling. He also cited the water conservation measures being utilized by the City.

The wastewater system overview looked at the condition and capacity of the collection system, which includes lift stations, sewer pipes, and pumps in town. It evaluated the treatment of city wastewater and the disposal of the treated wastewater effluent.

Recommended improvements in the next five years include Rope Street lift station improvements, a new westside lift station, and a new gravity system with one lift station on Creekside Court.

At the treatment facility in the next five to 10 years, there will need to be removal of biosolids from the lagoon and to replace/upsize the lagoon aerators. In 10 to 20 years, there will need to be headworks improvements as well as improvements in the chlorine contact chamber.

Improvements in the recycled water use areas on the former Lazy Z property on the west side of Highway 20 will be done in two phases, one in zero to five years and the second in 10 to 20 years. Improved distribution will be accomplished with irrigation pivots, which allow for ease of operation. Wetlands will be created in the southeast portion of the property to allow for a park, birdwatching, and wildlife habitat. The water will flow through the wetlands for additional polishing.

The property for the westside pump station has been secured and power is to the property.

The Woodlands development on the former Forest Service property is driving the development of the westside pump station. The developer will soon be paying the system development charges (SDCs) for 127 dwellings.

The rebuilding of the pump and motor for Well No. 1 is almost complete. The design for the new building is underway.

Bertagna reported it will be necessary to issue a bond or secure a loan to fund the multi-million- dollar projects in the two master plans. With long terms of 30 to 40 years, future population will pay some of the cost.

If there is a UGB expansion, it will involve bare land, not developed land. Developers who build on bare land pay with their SDCs for the increased water and wastewater services they will need.

“Growth pays for growth,” Bertagna said.


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