Environmental concerns push for greater activism
(Update: Video added, comments from Parker Vernon, member of the Terrebonne Sewer Advisory Group)
TERREBONNE, Ore., (KTVZ) – A 2020 feasibility study on Terrebonne wastewater shows that several septic tanks in Terrebonne are reaching the end of their 30-year life cycle, which leads to leaks.
This study was initiated by Parker Vernon, a member of the Terrebonne Sewer Advisory Group, who filed a petition and collected 100 signatures from people in the community who wanted to see an updated feasibility study on wastewater for Terrebonne.
“One of the big problems – environmentally, there are boreholes that basically drill holes that raw sewage goes into and then it dissipates into your groundwater,” Vernon said Monday. “Second, the whole town is on septic systems, and the septic systems have a final lifespan, and they’re deteriorating. , and it’s very expensive.
Vernon added that closing businesses due to septic failure is another motivation.
While the benefits of having a sewage system have been undisputed, the cost of operation and maintenance is something the community of Terrebonne will have to come together to financially support because the county will not pay for it. This will be the third time that the study will be conducted.
Vernon said that while it’s a costly expense and they’re still working out numbers to come up with a rough estimate, the pros outweigh the cons.
“It allows more businesses to come to the Terrebonne area, which means more jobs, which means more money in the community,” said Vernon.
Terrebonne has a septic repair rate twice as high as the rest of Deschutes County.
The county and the Terrebonne Sewer Advisory Group will be holding an open house to share information on the sewer potential in Terrebonne from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday at Terrebonne Grange Hall, 8286 11e Rue in Terrebonne.
An online survey was conducted and three design alternatives were considered, along with preliminary cost estimates. This is the third time such a study has been done, as those of 1984 and 1999 failed to result in action due to a lack of community support at the time, the county said.
Information will be presented during the open house on the sewer feasibility study and the steps the community needs to take to form a health district. Engineers and other stakeholders will be on hand to answer questions.