Wastewater Project

Wastewater Homeowner's Manual - Please read and save for your property owner records.

Congratulations Coburg!  The Wastewater Project is complete! The Wastewater Treatment Plant has been online since July 2013. All street connections and yard work were finished August 1, 2014. 

Getting Information

Contact Bob Butler, Public Works Director if you have issues with your wastewater system at 541-682-7852, bob.butler@ci.coburg.or.us.  See 'Fact Sheets' at the bottom of this page.

In addition to this website, monthly status reports are presented at City Council (1st Tuesday of each month - about 7:30p.m.).  Project updates are sent in the utility bills.  They are also posted on the City kiosk, at the Post Office, and at the City of Coburg, Oregon Facebook page. 

City Hall is open 8:00a.m.-5:00p.m. Monday-Friday.  We are here to help you get the information you are looking for.  Please stop by. 

 

Frequently Asked Questions: Wastewater Project Costs

What are the Project costs and why is it expensive?  The Wastewater Project was a $27 million investment in Coburg's future.  There are many different funding sources contributing to this Project including: Federal loans and grants; State loans and grants; an Urban Renewal District; a Local Improvement District assessment; and user fees.  This financial structure has been in place for many years and each of these components will be in place for the next 20 years (2034) as the City repays the public loans. 

Coburg was the second to last City in Oregon to be off septic systems.  It is a small community and wastewater treatment system that meets current Federal/State regulations is expensive when less than 500 sites comprise the initial system. 

The Project remained largely within budget since construction began in 2010.  The final project cost exceeded the final budget by 2 percent. In the final hook-up phase (connecting businesses and houses), there had been some cost over-runs.  The main reason is that more existing septic systems 'failed' than anticipated. System-wide they had been poorly or not at all maintained.  The Project tried to use any existing tank that met the current requirements to help keep costs down.  However, far more sites had unmaintained/leaking/unpumped and/or illegally placed tanks than the engineers estimated.  This means that more failing tanks needed to be decommissioned (secured) and new tanks needed to be installed which cost the City more time and resources.  It also cost more disruption to the citizens' yards.  The positive is that Coburg property owners are no longer responsible for maintaining their septic tanks.  The City will maintain the systems from now on; significantly reducing the ground contamination and decreasing the current threat of groundwater pollution. 

Direct Costs: User Fees and Local Improvement District Assessments

The monthly user fee for the system is $85 per month/EDU. An EDU stands for equivalent dwelling unit.   As long as the project remains on time and on budget, this will be the final user rate for a number of years.  See Fact Sheet - Cost Calculator below.

The Local Improvement District is a one time assessment on each property which will be assessed at the end of the Project.  It is estimated to be between $0.22-$0.29 per square feet of assessed property.  This includes vacant lots.  Property owners who pay the LID and choose to develop or redevelop their property in the future, will pay the difference between the LID and wastewater systems development charges.  No one will be assessed twice for future system capacity.  See LID 'Fact Sheets' below.

The City has hosted multiple Open Houses during the planning and implementation of this Project.  The most recent Open House was held May 23, 2013, 4:30-7:00p at Coburg City Hall View details (PDF).  As special LID presentation was made at the July 2014 City Council meeting and a special work session was held August 19, 2014.  City Council held the First Reading of the LID ordinance on September 9, 2014 and may adopt the LID at their September 23, 2014 meeting.

For New Development

Wastewater Systems Development Charges (SDCs) were approved in 2013.  Wastewater SDCs have been added to the existing Water, Transportation, and Parks SDCs for new development (e.g.. new houses).  

The System

Coburg is one of the largest and last Oregon cities that did not have a municipal sewer system. With a daytime influx of 3,000 employees in various commercial and industrial facilities and over 200 RV visitor spaces in town,  you will understand why replacing the the town's septic tanks with a wastewater collection and treatment system was Coburg's highest priority for the last 15 years.

To accomplish this, the City chose to install a Septic Tank Effluent Pump (STEP) system to collect the the wastewater and send it to a treatment plant through pressurized lines. This is not a traditional gravity system.  At the plant, a Membrane Bio-reactor (MBR) system treats the wastewater before it is released back into the environment. This system  results in Class A effluent; the highest level water quality possible in the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality's (DEQ) rating system. Much of this effluent will be used for irrigation.

Coburg's system is modeled after an existing system in Yelm, Washington, a town of about 10,000 population. For more information, click on the links below. 

Wastewater Homeowner's Manual

Current Fact Sheets
Wastewater Fact Sheet - August 2014
Wastewater  FACT SHEET LID Work Session August 2014
Wastewater - Phase IV Council Policies
Wastewater - FAQs 2013
Wastewater - What is Right of Way 2013
Wastewater -  New System Maintenance Dos and Don'ts for Property Owners 2014
Wastewater - Local Improvement Assessment LID 2014

Limited Income Assistance for Utility Bills
The City of Coburg Ordinance A-224.11. provides rate reduction method to assist some limited income residential users for water and/or wastewater utility bills.  Applications are due by June 30th.

View/Download Details
View/Download Limited Income Assistance for Water-Wastewater Application
View/Download Income Verification Form

 

Other | Older
Wastewater -  Are You In or Out of Project 2012
Wastewater - Management Org. Chart Phase 2&3 - 2012
Wastewater -  FAQs 'Hook-Up Phase' 2013
Wastewater - Cost Calculator
Wastewater - Construction Update July 2013
Wastewater - Project Schedules
Wastewater - What Will 'Hook-Up' Look Like? (PDF)
Wastewater - What to Expect during 'Hook-Up' Phase (PDF)
Wastewater - Maintaining Your Septic Tank
Wastewater - Trench Patching
Wastewater - RFP Water and Reclaimed Wastewater Rate Study 2012
Wastewater - Septic Tank Visit Update May 2011
Wastewater - Funding Issues Ray Bartlett
Wastewater - Reclamation Facility
Wastewater - Update September 2010
Wastewater - Funding November 2010
Wastewater - Ordinance January 2010
Wastewater - Why do we need a wastewater system?
Wastewater - Reclaimed Water Distribution Map
Wastewater - Project History