Construction projects ramp up in Cottage Grove

With warmer and longer days approaching, construction is underway on several projects in Cottage Grove.

By the start of next year, the city will see significant expansion of its water treatment plant, construction of storage for recycled water and safer routes to schools.


Water Treatment Expansion Project

Following the delivery of a new membrane filter rack this week, the city will soon begin expansion of its water treatment plant. Assembly and installation by the subcontractor PALL Corporation will begin during the week of June 22.

Currently, the plant’s production capacity of filtered water runs at 4 million gallons per day. Once completed late this summer, the project will increase the city’s capacity to 6 million gallons.

The need for expansion is two-fold.

“First, it offers redundancy in our plant,” said Public Works and Development Director Faye Stewart.

In the winter months, the city uses around 1 million gallons, and in summer a little over 3 million gallons per day. With two filter banks able to produce 2 million gallons per day each, the failure of one may prevent the plant from meeting the water needs of the city. A third rack would ensure that doesn’t happen.

The redundancy may also serve to fight fires as recent years have seen an uptick in fire emergencies.

“We’ll be able to produce more water on demand and that will help if we have a large fire,” said Stewart.

The expansion will also allow the city to perfect its water rights for the site.

The city has upwards of 12 million gallons of water rights on paper and the added capacity of the plant will perfect 6 million gallons.

“It’s projected that the 6-million-gallons-a-day filtration system should be able to meet all of our needs well into the year 2050 for the City of Cottage Grove,” Stewart said.


Recycled Water Storage and Pump Station Project

Meanwhile, work continues at the city’s wastewater treatment plant by R&G Excavation, which is currently focused for the next two weeks on the construction of berms for the storage of 12 million gallons of treated effluent during the warm months of the year.

“It’s important because the city has a discharge permit with DEQ (Oregon Department of Environmental Quality) and EPA (Environmental Protection Agency),” said Stewart.

Because discharge is limited to the Coast Fork of the Willamette River during the warm months of the year, the storage will give the city greater capacity to pump the stored water to the city’s golf course, the I-5 interchange at exit 174 and various city parks.

Middlefield Golf Course, owned by the city, is currently used to release effluent as irrigation. However, during rain, the city lacks a place to discharge other than the river.

Scheduled for completion in January 2021, the project will allow the city to store effluent on those days and start irrigation in Bohemia Park and Trailhead Park, adding 35 acres of irrigatable land.

This will also help prevent from violating the city’s discharge permit.

Stewart also feels the construction project is in line with recent requests by the public for the city to take steps toward a “greener” future.

“To me, this project fits really great,” he said. “It also allows us to start using recycled water in irrigating our parks instead of using treated drinking water. So, if we’re not utilizing as much treated drinking water, we’re not having to take as much water out of the river to meet our demand. … And it reduces our environmental impact in that area.”

At this time of year, Stewart estimates about 25,000 gallons of water a day are being used in Bohemia Park. As the temperature rises, this is expected to go up to 50,000 gallons a day.


Safe Routes to School and Fillmore Stormwater Outfall Project

Improved and safer infrastructure are also on the horizon as Wildish Construction has been working around the water quality swale by installing 27-inch storm drainage pipe up to Fillmore Avenue and South Fourth Street.

Construction will continue in this area with the installation of a 12-inch storm pipe as well as beginning to shape the water quality swale.

As part of the Safe Routes to School project, work on South Fourth Street has also begun in which designated trees are removed and asphalt/concrete saw cutting will begin. The work starts at the intersection of Grant Avenue and South Fourth Street moving north along Lincoln Middle School on South Fourth Street up to Taylor Avenue.

Crews will be taking the asphalt layer off South Fourth Street and gravel will be placed at the driveway approaches for a smooth transition. Pavement will be removed on South Fourth Street and new sidewalks will be built.

New water, sewer and storm lines will be installed in these areas as well.

“It’s my understanding that, at the end of the day, people are going to be able to use their driveways, access their property, but they may have a period of time during the day where we’re actually working and they’re not going to be able to access their home,” said Stewart. “But our intent is to work really closely with all the property owners and make sure that we communicate well with them about the project, our needs, and hopefully accommodate their needs to get into their property.”

The city will provide weekly updates on its Construction Corner website.

“The goal is to have everything completed in that area before school starts in the fall,” said Stewart. “And then the project will continue to work into probably about November working on concrete work and sidewalks.”

For additional details on the projects, visit the city’s Construction Corner at:


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