Marr Park sewer in progress
AINSWORTH — The final phase of the upgrade to Marr Park campground that began last year is finally coming to a close as the underground tanks for a new sewer system in the park were installed last week.
Washington County Conservation director Steve Anderson said that the final plumbing of the 21,000-gallon underground storage tanks was completed. The tanks will handle sewage from the shower house and the dumping station. He said much of the capacity was so sanitary waste could be stored and allow the system to only pump 1,500 gallons per day.
“We are right on the bubble of where the DNR (Department of Natural Resources) would regulate us or the sanitarian would,” Anderson said. “A lot of time was spent figuring out who would regulate us and how we were going to get into compliance.”
Last year the campground was expanded from 27 to 42 sites. Anderson said that when the expansion was made the campground was required to upgrade the sewer system. He said the DNR is regulating the project.
Anderson said that wiring the pump and putting the dumping station into its site at the head of the campground still have to be completed. He does not believe that the sewer will be ready to go on line for the campground’s opening this weekend, but feels it will be operational by May 1.
Modern campers have their own holding tanks, Anderson said. When the campers are ready to leave, the holdings can go through the dumping station to empty the tanks.
While initial estimates predicted the project would cost $145,000, Anderson said that the conservation department was able to do some of the work in-house. He said that the cost of the project will be about $110,000.
“That really caught us off guard and we were not prepared,” Anderson said. “We originally anticipated it being under $50,000. We finally decided we have to do this and we should do it as efficiently as possible.”
He said the project, along with the rest of the campground upgrade, is not using any taxpayer money. He said the funding is coming from a grant from the Washington County Riverboat Foundation, camping fees and crop-generated fees.