Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Excuse me sir, would you like your new home facing the club house or sewage lagoon?

Saint Consulting interviewed 1,000 people to find out what they thought were the most undesirable projects to be built near them. Not too surprising, landfills, casinos, and gravel pits topped the list. Heck, even Walmart was on there.

Maybe it was just too obvious to identify but, how about a sewage plant? Well, a group of landowners in Washington State just learned that exact thing may be happening literally, right next to them. The development is approved for 120 new homes. Individuals bought lots with plans to build vacation homes. With designs for a clubhouse, equestrian center and gated entry, this new development was on its way to becoming one of the nicest in the county.

Not only will the new development be affected but also the existing farms and orchards that surround it. Local farmers and longtime residents strongly oppose the lagoon and have been busy writing letters.

The application was made by a company that hauls sewage. The property they selected for the lagoon includes critical slope areas on it. The applicant stated that their plan is to dump the raw sewage into an open lagoon. Then wait for the “liquids” to evaporate out. Then they’ll scoop up the “solids,” haul them away and repeat the cycle. This is a poorly thought out project. In one part of their application they said they anticipated no adverse impacts of smell to the surrounding residents.

The small site they selected also has a ravine on it. The ravine heads down a steep embankment towards dozens of farms and the river running through town. Since little to no evaporation will occur during the winter months, the rains and snow melt will add to the level of the pond and increase the chances of an overflow.

A week ago the County issued a Mitigated Determination of Non-Significance for the sewage lagoon and opened it up for public comment.

This whole lagoon idea has left a bad taste in many people’s mouth.

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