Current system clogs frequently during busy season when multiple events take place
Crook County Fairgrounds leaders have faced a serious sewer issue that has caused them problems for the past several years.
This winter, weather permitting, they will finally fix the problem and consequently reduce staff member stress and improve the safety of those who frequent the fairgrounds.
"The main sewer line that services the four bathrooms in the indoor arena and in the kitchen, it runs from the kitchen in the arena straight out to a sewer cistern that sits behinds the grandstands," explained Fairgrounds Manager Casey Daly. "We have had issues with it over the years with it leaking and getting clogged. We have put band-aids on it for the last six or seven years. We knew it had to be dealt with."
The sewer system typically fails at the worst possible time, according to Daly, when three or four events are taking place simultaneously.
"All of the toilets are being flushed at the same time," he said. "We find women's garments that been flushed. We find car keys, sunglasses, pop bottles — you name it, we have found it."
When it fails, as often as three times a year, the fairgrounds staff of about two or three people has to pull the pumps out of the cistern and get everything unclogged. It not only poses a safety hazard, it is downright unpleasant for the staff to fix.
"It is pretty nasty when we have to deal with it," Daly remarked.
Since encountering the problem several years earlier, Daly has included a line item in the fairgrounds budget to repair the sewer line. But up until this year, the county has not had the funds to pay for it.
That finally changed this winter as the county court voted unanimously to approve a nearly $50,000 bid to repair the sewer line. Prineville-based SMAF Construction won the bid, Daly said, and once there is a break in the snowy weather, work on the project will begin. It is expected to only take two weeks to complete.
Daly noted that the current sewer line is not only comprised of multiple materials, it rises and falls as it makes its way to the cistern, increasing the likelihood of it clogging. The new line will not only be larger, it will all be the same type of pipe and have the right grade on it.
"It is going to be done right," Daly said.