Dahl says sewer plant should now be fixed
Environmental Commission member Demar Dahl says the sewage treatment problems at his Fallon subdivision are nearly fixed.
Dahl, who was recently named to the commission by Gov. Kenny Guinn, was hit with an order Jan. 31 to bar further sewage spills and improve treatment quality at the package plant serving the Pine Grove subdivision.
He said the problems are basically glitches in the computer system that runs the high-tech treatment plant, which he said he installed so that septic tanks from more than 150 homes wouldn’t be flowing into the groundwater near Fallon.
“We think even with problems we’ve had that we’re way ahead of where we would be without the plant,” he said. “When we finish, we’ll have 158 homes connected to a treatment plant instead of 158 individual septic systems emptying raw sewage into the ground.”
The problem is the treatment plant has caused two spills and tested too high in several different measures of sewage-related pollution over the past two months.
Dahl, an Elko rancher and developer, said he thinks the computer problems are fixed now but that he is working with the state Environmental Protection Division to make sure.
“When the plant is working properly, it’s clean enough to discharge right into the Stillwater Wildlife Refuge,” he said. “That’s a giant step in the right direction over septics.”
State pollution division officials volunteered that Dahl has worked with their investigators and engineers throughout the case to fix the plant.
Dahl said the treatment plant, which was designed by a former state division engineer, works great. He said the problem is in the computer system that operates it.
“The computer runs everything,” he said. “It tells when to pump in, pump out, what to do, so if the computer tells it to do something wrong that’s when you have spills.”
He said the plant was put into a trust so that once the subdivision is finished it can be transferred to Churchill County.
He said he is sending a letter to Environmental Protection Division spelling out all the changes made to the plant to ensure that it doesn’t cause future problems.