The urban-like density of rural subdivision lots in La Pine is feeding increasing levels of sewage contaminants into the groundwater.
The Bend Bulletin reports (http://bit.ly/13DITTT ) a committee commissioned by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality found that 85 percent of the Deschutes County lots and 75 percent of the Klamath County lots are at risk of having groundwater comprised of at least 25 percent of partially treated sewage.
The combination of thousands of septic systems close together, permeable soil and a shallow water table led to the sewage contamination of the groundwater.
Officials say the situation is not yet a public-health risk, but the committee has called for further study on the potential impacts to the Little Deschutes River.
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They say the rural areas require urban sewage solutions.
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