Water-Related News

Umatilla will pump waste to Eustis in cost-effective venture

UMATILLA – Faced with a $12 million bill to replace its aging sewage treatment plant, the City of Umatilla instead will pipe its waste to Eustis in a deal that is expected to benefit both communities financially.

Officials say the move will save Umatilla millions in repairs and upgrades to its existing plant, but at the same time Eustis will gain a very lucrative customer.

“We have the capacity and it’s not being used, and since we charge for our treatment, that’s a revenue stream for our wastewater,” said Eustis’ Public Works Director Rick Gierok. “We’re working together well and both cities are benefiting from this agreement.”

Umatilla’s treatment plant is 52 years old and in need of a $12.2 million upgrade to bring it to compliance.

“We would have to find the $12 million to build a new plant, then the sewage bills for our customers would have been astronomical as we worked to pay it back,” said Aaron Mercer, Umatilla’s director of public works. “It wasn’t our only option, but it was the most affordable. In the end, this will save us and our residents millions of dollars.”

With the agreement in place, Umatilla will instead spend about $6 million for the construction of a raw wastewater pump station and force main from Umatilla directly to Eustis’ plant.