Wastewater for agriculture

Klamath Falls, Ore. – A proposal to use treated wastewater for agricultural use is coming up for discussion in Klamath Falls.

The idea could save money, but has some strong opposition.

Michael Fritschi of the South Suburban Sanitary District believes using treated effluent to grow crops is a win-win.  “Increase treatment, provide storage and irrigation, recycled water on farmland.”

Farmer Ryan Kliewer believes the proposal will have a negative impact on farmland.  “As far as property values, and for lack of better terms, putting a biologic pollutant into our neighborhood is not something that the neighbors are willing to stand by and idly take.”

The water would be pumped from a treatment facility to a storage area.

Fritschi says two storage areas are under consideration.  “The first site is located off of Reeder Road, and that’s the original site, which we call site 1.  Site 2 is located off of North Poe Valley Road, about 5 miles as the pipe flows.”

Kliewer is concerned about the impact of those storage sites.  “If you don’t think that this is going to smell, people are naive.”

Fritschi claims using recycled water for ag use is much cheaper than treatment plant upgrades.  “Our recycled water project, we’re looking at between 50 to 65 million , and then for upgrading the treatment plant, anywhere form 110 to 130 million.”

Kliewer believes using recycled water for ag could come at an even higher cost.  “They’re going to super-load that soil, and eventually, it will be unfarmable soil.”

A hearing to discuss the North Poe Valley option will be held Wednesday, June 17th at 6 PM at the Klamath County Fairgrounds.

A hearing on the Reeder Road site is scheduled for Tuesday, June 23rd, also at 6 at the fairgrounds.

© 2024 KOBI-TV NBC5. All rights reserved unless otherwise stated.

Skip to content