Devil’s Lake Water Improvement District Manager Paul Robertson told the Lincoln City City Council Monday night that this winter’s experience with the lake’s near year-round pea soup consistency should convince the community that it’s not from high temperatures or low water levels. Robertson says it’s from high levels of nutrient in the lake being fed by the many failed or failing home septic tanks – which should be replaced with regular city sewer.
Robertson said the lake’s current temperature is a full 20 degrees lower than summer temperatures and that the lake’s level is quite high – and yet it’s still looks like pea soup. The city has been working with residents around the lake, especially on the west shore which is inside the city limits, to consider hooking up to city sewer. A collection system that costs about the same as replacing septic systems is being explored along with a method of utility fees and other funding sources.
Meanwhile Robertson says the water improvement district is still doing what it can to build up shore and near shore vegetation which can help intercept some of the septic leakage from getting into the lake. He says it helps – but the best and fastest way to clean up Devils Lake is to get all the homes around it off septics and onto city sewer.