On October 20, 2015, the City of Tulelake (City) held a groundbreaking ceremony for their Wastewater Project (Project). The Project will assist the City in complying with Cease and Desist Order (CDO) No. R1‐ 2013‐0030, dated June 13, 2013. The City’s violations are primarily related to coliform, biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), total suspended solids (TSS), and chlorine residual. The CDO requires the City to complete a compliance project that will eliminate surface water discharge. The project will rehabilitate the existing wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) and construct a new recycled water storage and reuse system. The City is working with Adkins Engineering and Integrated Water Systems to dredge accumulated sludge from its two treatment lagoons, convert existing sand filters to a combined third treatment lagoon, construct two recycled water storage ponds, and develop the adjacent fi eld for crop irrigation.
The City is located alongside the Oregon border in Northeastern Siskiyou County, with a population of approximately 1,035 people. As a small (population less than 20,000 persons), severely disadvantaged (median household income [MHI] less than 60% of the statewide MHI) community with wastewater rates greater than 1.5% of the community’s MHI, the City received a 100% principal forgiveness/grant of $6 million through the Clean Water State Revolving Fund Program.
The City has overcome many hurdles over the last 10+ years to get the Project to construction. City Mayor Henry Ebinger states, “It has been a pleasure to work with a State agency that goes well out of their way to assist a small, rural community like ours.” The City also received a Community Development Block Grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to purchase the land needed for agronomic reuse.