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LOIS working to stay on schedule for the lake re-fill

The Lake Oswego Interceptor Sewer project is moving quickly to finish a huge amount of work before Monday, March 21.

That is when Oswego Lake is scheduled to start being refilled 16 more feet, which will bring it back up to its normal level of 98.6 feet.

'They are working really hard to get the work done,' said Jane Heisler, LOIS communications director. 'They don't want to get chased out of their work area when the water starts rising.'

The lake re-fill has been going on since Feb. 7, and because of recent heavy rain the lake is already up to 83½ percent of full pool (82.6 feet). Starting Monday, the lake will slowly start refilling until it is expected to reach its normal level (98.6 feet) the weekend before Memorial Day at the end of May. The Lake Corporation has requested that the pool be raised at a rate of 1-½ feet per week.

The LOIS project has been able to stay on schedule because of hard work, excellent supervision and good luck, although two minor setbacks have recently slowed efforts. Heavy rains have slightly hindered work. In addition a wastewater overflow occurred on March 8 due to an air bubble in the interceptor, which reduced the capacity of the LOIS pipeline.

However, the wastewater overflow was so minor that the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality told Heisler that a report was not even necessary. Even the small amount of wastewater that did escape was quickly brought under control.

'It went into a dry portion of the lake and was immediately cleaned up by our contractor J.W. Fowler,' Heisler said.

Although the overflow was by no means desired, it proved that the alarm system installed for emergencies worked well.

Over the next four days the workers will be grading the pipeline to make it as precise as possible.

The next big item on the LOIS agenda will be putting easements back together. They include Alder Point, Springbrook, Forest Hills and Maple Hill.

The $94 million project will give Lake Oswego a new sewer system by January of 2012.