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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Mayors Nancolas and Dale On EPA 2018 Compliance Date for Sewage Component

We learned today via the IPT, Mayor Nancolas is in decision paralysis over what to do with phosphate in sewer water discharges to Indian Creek.  "Its got us really really concerned" was Mayor Nancolas' comment on the article in the Press Tribune today.  Meanwhile Mayor Dale has rallied his minions to study the matter for the looming sewer plant upgrades that could cost Nampa home and property owners $200 MM to correct.

The problem is too much phosphate in the discharge effluent (fancy word the tech types like to use) pumped into Indian Creek by both cities after the water has gone through all the various cycles of waste treatment at the sewage plants.  Phosphate is not a new problem as THE GUARDIAN wrote about this several years ago after a discussion with a Caldwell city official over what to do with 160 acres next to Purple Sage Golf Course.  The official wanted to sell the property at the height of the housing boom but the deal caved in when the housing market imploded.  It was suggested the property may be needed to land treat 6MM gallons of sewage with the phosphate problem revealed in the IPT today.

Meanwhile, we would like to suggest to Mayor Nancolas he reconsider widening Hwy. 20/26 at a cost of $3 million to Caldwell taxpayers and pretty much a gift to developers along that patch of pavement between Smeed Parkway and the Flying J Plaza.  It is clear the compliance date is 2018, a mere six years down the road.  What is the plan for Caldwell to pay for this compliance mandate.  Hope and ignoring the problem are not solutions.  Most would also agree the doubling of sewer fees in Caldwell is not a reasonable answer either.

If they don't dump the sewage into Indian Creek that leaves land treatment and the golf course site or some other parcel and the sewage goes on the land to gain compliance.  We think Mayor Nancolas should reconsider the $3MM giveaway on Hwy. 20/26 and come up with a compliance plan for the sewage problem compliance date of 2018.  Caldwell City officials have known about this problem for several years and citizens need to know the plan for compliance.


  1. Yes the typical game plan seems to be spend every dollar you can squeeze from taxpayer so that when the next "emergency" crops up, there is simply no solution other than to raise everyone's taxes.

  2. I don't know what Mayor Nancolas has in mind here in Caldwell but doubling sewer fees as some kind of "user fee" on top of an already high water bill has me concerned. I am on a fixed income and already my water bill is loaded with water, sewer, street light, sanitation fees and runs an average of $50/month. The sewer costs are $25/month and doubling this fee is not a reasonable answer to me for this issue.
    Tom Dale's pat answer to everything is raise taxes just like he did for the storm water run-off problems in Nampa.

  3. It will be interesting to see if a proactive approach to this problem is used or if Nancolas uses his usual approach of ignoring the problem until it is a crisis. I think I would be researching grants and a special bond election to get this problem fixed.

    Simplot has a lot of land they use to treat plant waste-water I wonder if a partnership could be worked out between the city of Caldwell and the Simplot Company.

  4. Perhaps the Mayor could call an executive session of the MYAC to see what solutions high school young adults could come up with with respect to the sewage problem. I am dead serious about this as I think young intelligent people proctored by the right person could come up with some interesting solutions.

  5. I see in the paper Nampa now has a group of nearly 50 people to address the sewage/phosphate problem. The problem seems pretty simple to me. Don't dump processed sewage into rivers and streams. The sugar beet factory as well as Simplot uses land to take care of their waste water. There is plenty of vacant land that could be purchased and used to deal with the sewage problem. Surface treatment of waste water is not a new concept.

  6. Paul, Your comment 20 years ago may have had some merit. Ground water quality issues for Land Application are going to require extensive treatment of the waste regardless, before dumping it on the ground. The other issue i would like to point out is that Simplot and the Sugar factory are not applying Human Waste to the ground. The City of Caldwell also should also be commended for thier forward thinking in facing the the phosphorous issue at hand. Currently they have a treatment plant than can already treat phosphorous to extreamly low levels, They also have a high quality Staff to help guide the City meeting the proposed new guidelines. Paul it is not the simple problem you imply, but alas it' is an issue you ........bloggers............ can cause hate and discontent with! just because you can stir up trouble with impunity.

    I don't work for the City of Caldwell
    I am not a regulator
    I am not anyone who would make a peney on this issue.
    I have no "friends" working for the City
    I have experience in this field
    I have co-authored 2 technical papers concerning Phosphorous removal in wastewater.

    Good Luck City of Caldwell, You have a better start than most communities in the area !

    Post Script
    Get the Tea Baggers, Greenies, Ag Pimps involved in this issue, its really as simple as running a submarine with a crew of monkeys. it works!

  7. We agree you can't simply dump human waste on the land. Primary, secondary and tertiary treatment and even additional steps may be needed to clean up waste water. We can't take water and the steps needed to clean it up for granted. That said, THE GUARDIAN is questioning why all available funds are not going to clean up this problem.

    Dealing with this very problem is a legitimate use of Urban Renewal money (taxes. Poop farms and sewage treatment are complex entities and garnering taxpayer support is a tough sell but slapping ever higher sewage rates is a poor solution too. The spenders of Urban Renewal money, aka the board members, did some upgrades for expansion and pumping stations for growth. The phosphate requirements under the Clean Water Act were well known several years ago. Why wasn't urban renewal money diverted to this pressing issue instead of all the questionable bling projects?

  8. Really, Paul?
    Because King Nancolas doesn't want to be remembered as the "Mayor of Poop"!

    Better to be the"Mayor of Indian 'Crick" ...the guy who finally got rid of that bad old guy George, the owner of George's Gyp Joint. By the way, George was the only businessman downtown who wasn't part of The Good 'Ol Boys Network.

  9. My recall of the deal made with George was that he was treated very well in the acquisition of his business. More than a few people were watching out for George and one of them was the late Bob Hooker who looked in on George. Bob's comments to me on the subject of George and what he got for his business were nothing but positive.

  10. The city of Caldwell needs to stop spending money on Christmas lights and parks that nobody uses,
    and use money for important projects like sewers and job growth. Doubling our sewage taxes is ridiculous.


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