Government Goes Overboard on Groundwater | Letters to the Editor | Bend | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon
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Government Goes Overboard on Groundwater 

In March of 2009 Deschutes County citizens will be voting on a local rule that was adopted by the Deschutes County Commissioners.

This local rule only applies to residents of South Deschutes County who have septic systems (which are not hooked up to some type of sewer system). The reason this rule was adopted was Deschutes County participated in a study with other agencies and determined there were nitrates in some wells that maybe could exceed DEQ limits in 50 to 100 years. The DEQ has never issued a health hazard on this matter.

This rule is unfair to South County residents; we are being penalized by this rule. Now the Deschutes County Commissioners are asking all of the County residents to vote on an issue that does not affect them, presently. But don't get complacent; all it takes is for the Commissioners, by a stroke of the pen, to make it law for All of Deschutes County who are not on some type of municipal sewer system.

This rule is also unfair because it will not be applied to all properties in South County, like RV parks, State or Federal parks, etc. I guess their sewage goes to some other aquifer.

I am sure County Commissioners and Deschutes County Planning Dept. designed this ballot in hopes it would get passed by North County residents who don't at this time have "a dog in the fight."

Deschutes County is asking all of us to put in nitrate reducing systems which could cost $10,000 - $30,000, depending upon which contractor you hire. The county will also dictate what you do to fix your system. The County will not allow the homeowner to correct any problems/ improvements, regardless of your expertise. These mandated systems do not take care of any other kinds of contaminants. Will we be asked to put in another type of system when the County isn't happy? When will all of this nonsense stop? Deschutes County does not care what the costs are and they don't care if a lot of older folks lose their property. The County said early on not to worry, that they would help us financially; now they are broke and we will not receive a dime. This Local Rule, which is being challenged via the ballot box in March, has already reduced all property values in South County.

We have very clean and good drinking water in South County and all of the residents would not do anything intentionally to destroy our water. This Local Rule is not about what is right or wrong, it is about Deschutes County Planning Commission Power.

I have lived in Oregon all of my 70 years and moved to LaPine to enjoy my retirement. Now Deschutes County Government wants to suck every last dime that the State or Feds have not already taken.

We the citizens of South Deschutes County have had to form a Citizens Action Group (CAG) in order to fight to protect our property from the Deschutes County Planning Dept. and County Commissioners. We the citizens have had to fight Deschutes County every step of the way; they will roll over you, if they think they can get away with it.

Please vote no on the Local Rule in March of 2009. You, the citizens of North Deschutes County, may be the next victims to be mandated to shell out $10,000 to $30,000 for a septic system upgrade at some later date.

Gil Sprauer, La Pine

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