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"Greywater (graywater, gray water) is wastewater generated from domestic activities such as dish washing, laundry and bathing. Greywater comprises 50-80% of residential wastewater generated from all of the house's sanitation equipment except for the toilets. Water from the toilets is designated sewage or blackwater."

Wastewater: Septic, sewer, sandfilter, & pressure sewer systems
Alternative Treatment Technologies (ATTs)
| Sandfilter | Septic | Sewer | Pressure Sewer
The issue is complex and costly.
Lincoln City
- Lincoln City's Code of Ordinances are online at, or City Hall is located at 801 SW Hwy 101, Lincoln City, OR 97367, Planning 541-996-2153, Public Works 541-996-2154. In 2003, Lincoln City's Wastewater Facility Master Plan and Collection System Master Plan were updated. Check them out of the Driftwood Library. See below.

Lincoln County - Public Works can be reached at 541-265-5747. Planning can be reached at 541-265-4192 in Newport. Bill Zekan is the environmental manager (sanitarian). The Lincoln County website is at

   Lincoln City's wastewater consultant is Dale Richwine. If you have questions or input contact Richwine Environmental at 503-617-1721.
  Richwine has said that each septic system at a home around the lake puts on average the equivalent of one bag of phosphate fertilizer (total nitrates) into the lake each year. It is nutrients along with the right temperatures that can cause algal blooms that affect water quality.
  The 1998 statistics of the 700 lots around the lake showed that of the 450 with homes, 125 are on sewer, 325 are on septic tanks with drainfields putting effluent into the groundwater.

   On the other side of the sewer issue is that development follows the sewer line. With development comes other issues - loss of habitat for birds and wildlife, polluting fertilizer and pesticide runoff from lawns and the planting of non-native species that lack food value for animals, impervious surfaces such as cement driveways that do not allow rainwater to soak into the ground - making an area susceptible to flooding, sediment flowing into the lake, erosion from improper shoreline stabilization and new development; the construction of seawalls, docks and boathouses add to the mix. Sewer service brings added fees for the property owner. Residents outside the city limits pay a higher rate for water than residents within the city. A sewer cost would be added to the water bill. To receive city water, new property owners outside the city sign an agreement that they will not contest annexation should the city decide to annex. City taxes are higher than county taxes.
   Sewage leaks out even with a sewer system, through pumps and/or pipes. Holmes Road and D River pumping stations were spill sites in the past. Even the alarm can fail. The City of Lincoln City has upgraded the pump stations to prevent sewer spills and is working to replace pipes.

ATTs | Sandfilter | Septic | Sewer | Pressure Sewer

Sandfilter Systems
Lincoln County currently allows the use of sandfilter systems. This system was designed because many properties were too small to install a conventional septic system. This system has a septic tank which is pumped into a huge concrete box that must hold a minimum of 360 cu. ft. of sand. The gray water is filtered through the sand and comes out into a drainfield of approximately 90 lineal ft/per bedroom. At this point it may be necessary to have another pump to move this water to the drainfield, depending on how the property lies, the slope, etc.
   Properties around Devils Lake are now becoming buildable because of this system, and there are installations of it for new home construction and for replacement of faulty systems. The system is costly; an estimated $10,000 to $15,000. The huge concrete box is unsightly in many instances, and as any system, some seepage will still enter the lake. The system needs to be maintained at a cost to the homeowner.
   PADL appreciates that folks are now able to use a system that will allow property owners to make use of their land, and that failed systems are being addressed with its use. But, this does not alleviate the problem for properties (of which many exist) that are too small to put this type of system in or change the fact that when a sewer system is eventually put in place, all these Sandfilter Systems will have to be removed at no small expense and the property connected to the Sewer System at additional cost. Therefore, we feel that a sewer system surrounding Devils Lake at the nearest possible time is the real answer. The PADL board has been working very hard to help with various problems with this project, including design, costs, legal issues, and financial aid
   The PADL board asks for your support in the undertaking of a sewer system not only because it is an inevitable improvement that our lake requires for its preservation, but also because in the long run the cost of a sewer system may be less than the cost of ongoing maintenance of septic or alternative on site systems.


Pharmaceuticals and health care products down the toilet and sink
  Scientists have begun to study wastewater for pollution from pharmaceutical and health care product chemicals. Fish and wildlife habitat downstream from septic and sandfilter drainfields, and sewer plants are at risk for contamination. Most current sewer systems do not remove chemicals that could be harmful to the environment. Removing chemicals would require an additional treatment step and cost. An example would be prozac chemicals discharged from a sewer plant into a nearby stream where fish live. It could make for happy fish, or cause serious problems. Antibiotics from wastewater in septic tanks can kill the bacteria that are needed to make septic systems work.

Septic Drainfield
Maintain septic systems properly. Monitoring and cleaning your system when needed protects your groundwater and surface water, and saves money by prolonging the life of the system. Map out your drainfield. Help stem the tide of water pollution.
Graphics: Septic system (Environmental Protection Agency)


Blue Green Thumb Watershed Education Program -
A program of the Preservation Association of Devils Lake (PADL)
Copyright © 2003-2010 Preservation Association of Devils Lake (PADL)
All rights reserved.

P.O. Box 36
Lincoln City, OR 97367