Ashland wastewater outfall project due to get underway

Ashland Pond on June 20, 2022. Ashland.news photo by Bert Etling
June 21, 2022

Ashland Pond area will be closed while pipeline extended to discharge into Bear instead of Ashland creek

Ashland Pond will soon be the site of a major public works construction project starting this week and continuing on into late 2023, the city of Ashland has announced. People used to walking and bird-watching in the area along Ashland Creek near where it empties into Bear Creek should be prepared to expect trail and access point closures at various times during the project to ensure the safety of the public and the construction crews.

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has required that the city relocate the outfall of the Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) from its current location in Ashland Creek to a new location at Bear Creek, adjacent to Ashland Pond, to help comply with state and federal water quality regulations established by the federal Clean Water Act.

The wastewater outfall route was selected, in part, for its avoidance of the heavily used Bear Creek Greenway Trail, elimimating crossing of Ashland Creek, and for the minimal impact to sensitive habitat, according to the city. City of Ashland graphic

Ashland Pond is a 22.05-acre open space that Ashland Parks & Recreation Commission (APRC) acquired in 1971. The land is adjacent to the Bear Creek Greenway, below Quiet Village on the north side of Ashland. The trailhead is off Glendower Street in Ashland.

The city’s schedule for the project is subject to change, it says in its announcement, as national and global materials shortages require flexibility regarding the construction schedule. As of Friday, the expectation was that some preliminary work could begin this week, including surveying and staking the construction zone and storing materials that will be used for environmental compliance during construction. 

During the week of June 27, materials permitting, the city anticipates the contractor will begin site preparation, which will include installing erosion and sediment control, setting up a temporary staging site for materials and equipment, and some initial site work, which likely will require closure of the area to the public to ensure public safety and maintain a safe job site.   

During the week of July 11, construction of the new outfall in Bear Creek and associated work at Ashland Pond is expected to commence.  Work at the pond will continue through the summer during normal working hours on weekdays. The pond and its access paths will remain inaccessible to the public during construction. 

After completing in-water work, the contractor will start installation of a new effluent pipeline extending from the newly constructed outfall to the Wastewater Treatment Plant. That schedule is not currently available, but the city expects the project will be substantially complete before October 2023.

More information is available at ashland.or.us/healthycreeks

For more information on the project or to be added to an email list for project updates, send an email to the city Public Works Department at healthycreeks@ashland.or.us. 

Source: City of Ashland news release. Email Ashland.news Executive Editor Bert Etling at betling@ashland.news or call or text him at 541-631-1313.

Looking east toward the Ashland sewage treatment plant from the Ashland Pond trailhead at the north end of Glendower Street on June 20, 2022. Ashland.news photo by Bert Etling

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Bert Etling

Bert Etling

Bert Etling is the executive editor of Ashland.news. Email him at betling@ashland.news.
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