County again looks to Eudora for waste storage
Douglas County commissioners are once again looking to Eudora to solve the county's wastewater storage problem.
The problem arose last year when rates for the Lawrence wastewater facility increased, prompting septic haulers to begin dumping the waste on land in rural areas, upsetting some landowners.
Though land application is currently legal, county commissioners hope an additional storage tank will resolve the issue.
With limited space in Lawrence, the commissioners began looking to Eudora.
According to the commissioners' proposal, the county would build a 150,000-gallon facility for $575,000. The plant would be built near the city's wastewater treatment plant.
Sewage would be brought to the plant and when the tank became full, a company would be hired to inject the untreated waste into the ground.
County Administrator Craig Weinaug said the idea of injecting untreated waste into the ground could be a concern. Also in question is how the facility and its operation would be financed.
The commission had not revisited the issue since two new commissioners took office in January.
Weinaug said the issue was reintroduced at a recent commission meeting to familiarize the new members with the topic.
"This meeting was intended to kind of give an overview of the problem and to show how complex the problem is to the new county commissioners," Weinaug said.
Once they were brought up to speed, the commissioners agreed the proposal to house a storage tank in Eudora remains the most plausible solution.
Although the current city council has implied its support for such a project, Eudora City Engineer Matt Taylor said the commissioners have made no recent contact with the council. The issue could be up in the air if nothing is approved before the general election in April.
"It hasn't been discussed for several months, but I would expect that nothing really changed since last November," he said. "(But), it's definitely not out of the question that if we got two new council members and a new mayor, they might feel differently about it."