CORVALLIS, Ore. (KMTR) - The Department of Environmental Quality has told the city its water could be too warm for some species of salmon and other fish.
State officials believe the waste water turning into the Willamette could be endangering some river life. The city now needs to try and find a solution for it and if they don't, they could be fined hundreds of dollars a day for it.
"That would cost more than any of the solutions," said city councilor Richard Hervey.
Hervey spoke with NewsSource 16 Thursday about allocating about $700,000 dollars to study alternatives. One of the alternatives include piping treated waste water to a location for irrigation and an artifical wetland. with that, the water would cool as it moves through the pipes underneath the bed of the Willamette River.
"Many fish we have in the rivers of the Northwest, when the rivers get above a certain temperature, their breeding doesn't work," said Hervey. "It's not as if it is an elective decision on the city's part but rather a requirement and we're trying to find the most cost effective way to meet that requirement."
In the aforementioned alternative, it would cost about $14 million dollars.
Hervey said city council has in fact narrowed down some choices, but would like community input as they move forward.
"Will it work," he asked. "Take a look at the issues that may be associated, will there be settlement problems, will it fit the qualities we want?"
Hervey said finding answers to those questions is what the $700,000 dollars will be used for. They would like to make a plan of action that fits everyone's wants and needs, yet all in all, money will be taken from taxpayers.
"This treatment system would be part of the water works budget so that would come out of fees charged to citizens on their water bills," Hervey explained.
City council plans to meet again next week.