John Day leaders continue to plan for the new wastewater treatment plant.

Engineering firm Anderson Perry has completed environmental assessments, an archeological survey and developed a preliminary engineering report and a groundwater technical assessment for review by the state Department of Environmental Quality, Brett Moore of Anderson Perry told the John Day City Council Feb. 25.

City staff and engineers have been completing the funding applications for the balance of the treatment plant construction cost.

Moore said a 215-page preliminary report identifies what options are available for each component of the treatment plant and provides a cost-benefit analysis.

“Once those are identified and the decisions are made, then we’ll jump into design and prepare the plans for specification for construction,” Moore said.

The treatment plant is sized for 340,000 gallons, the amount generated in a typical peak month, but Moore said last April there were flows in excess of a million gallons per day for several days that created an inflow issue at the facility. Moore said the team is working to identify how the extra water is getting in the system and said building a plant for a million gallons would not be cost effective.

He said, however, it would be difficult to find and patch all the holes in such an extensive system.

“For that reason, what we’ve done is we’re going to add a pump that we are going to call the flood pump because we are still not going to size the treatment plant for something that you’re going to use once every five years when you have a flood situation,” he said. “We are just going to build a little concrete wall around a parking lot, and if we get one of those events we’re just going to fill that parking lot up and then we’ll drain it back to the treatment plant. We are trying to come up with different ideas to deal with those situations without getting fined by DEQ for discharges and overflows.”

The city council agreed to submit an application for funding from USDA Rural Development. John Day City Manager Nick Green said the USDA will determine the eligibility, ask for additional information and then make a funding decision, which will be a combination of grants and loans.

The city is requesting $7.4 million dollars in the USDA Rural Development funding application. According to the agenda, “this funding will be used in conjunction with a $2.3 million grant from the (Community Development Block Grant) program (application pending) and $1.5 million (grant-loan) from Business Oregon’s Water Wastewater Program.”

Green said the USDA would be the largest lender of the four to five applications to come.


Rudy Diaz is a reporter for the Blue Mountain Eagle. Contact him at or 541-575-0710.

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