Diamond Lake Area
Recreational Association
Atwater, Minnesota
Waste Water Committee Information
Diamond Lake Wastewater Committee Website
Comments and Responses From Surveys
May 10, 2008

The following comments/concerns have been drawn from Diamond Lake residents’ responses to various surveys.  Following the concerns, you will find the response of the Wastewater Committee.  To comment of this document, email:  wastewatercommuncations@yahoo.com

Lake Concerns

We have concern with the inlets especially the one on the SE corner where there is so much green muck going into the lake.

We think a good look should be taken at the runoff into the lake, especially from Wheeler Lake.  Sedimentation ponds have been built around Lake Harriet and Lake Calhoun in Minneapolis to slow down storm water runoff.  The green algae now gushes from Wheeler Lake into Diamond after a good rain.

Farm and feedlot runoff should be investigated and corrected.  It may be contributing just as much or more as the septic systems.  Diamond Lake’s small watershed is almost all farms.  It makes no sense to look just at septic/sewer and not the rest of the watershed.

Concerned about heavy algae growth at creek to lake entrance on east side.

We feel fortunate to be part of the summer lake community and are therefore interested in restoring the ecological balance of Diamond Lake.

We are not interested in a sewer around Diamond Lake just so Green Lake can pay for their new system.  Diamond Lake has been very clear and clean this year – due to the factor that we had little or no rain.  When we do get rain, the drain off from farms run into Diamond Lake – that is a big problem with our lake – all that fertilizer.  Instead of the commission deciding to do a sewer around the lake, we need ponds to filter the water before it runs into Diamond Lake – that is our biggest problem – not the septic systems.

I don’t mind paying for a sewer line if it helps.  BUT, when runoff from farm fields add over 50%, then I want to see all factions made to clean up.  Drainage ditches are full of all the contaminants that farmers dust, spray, plow, add seed and animal waste.  Do it but everyone should be made to clean up their act!!!  Even politicians!

Less carp last summer and better clarity of water – connection?  Also less rain and runoff and better lake water?

Check the chemicals and poisonous wastewater that is running into the lake from farmers that are killing off fish.

How about the run off from ponds to lake (is that under control)?


All of the above comments are valid concerns that need to be addressed but is not the purpose of the Wastewater Committee.  The volunteer Wastewater Committee was formed to look at all the various wastewater options that are available to all the homeowners around Diamond Lake.  Causes contributing to the impaired water status of Diamond and wastewater treatment are two separate issues.  At this time, we have found no evidence that septic systems are in any way contributing to lake pollution, however, there always is the potential for that to happen if the wastewater system problems are not addressed in a timely manner.

Your comments will be important to the people working on the Impaired Waters Study, which is being conducted by the Middle Fork Crow Watershed District.  Their study will determine pollutants affecting our lake, the sources of pollutants and determine the amount of pollution reduction that is necessary to meet water quality goals for Diamond Lake.

We all can be leaders in the effort to clean up our environment by ensuring wastewater on our property is treated correctly. This will send a strong message to all groups and individuals in our watershed that we are trying to make a difference, and that we are all responsible for reducing our impact on local resources such as Diamond Lake.



I think everyone’s sewer system should be checked because I have heard some people are having problems with their old systems.

I support mandatory septic inspections and make all systems function right.  No need to waste money on sewer when only a small percentage of systems don’t work properly.  Monitor them every 3 years or more and homeowner must pay inspection costs and keep their system working.

Look into septic systems that are not up to code or not working properly.

All wastewater systems should be checked on both first and second tier.

I feel that cabin homes should have their septic systems inspected – if they fail then a certain time limit should be allowed for replacement or that home site as “condemned” and fined for failure to correct.


One key piece of information that we hope to obtain is whether or not each property has a properly functioning septic system that is in compliance with current regulations. 
This is particularly important in order to determine the extent of non-compliant or failing systems so that a decision on the type of sewage treatment works to address current as well as future needs. 

To this end we have been working with the county to seek funding for compliance inspections. The County has received a grant from the State of over $60,000 to cover the costs of inspections.  Additionally, we are working with the County toward adopting a mandatory inspection policy for properties on Diamond Lake.  Throughout this community decision-making process, it is very important to have every property owner part of the process. When all the work and analysis has been completed, the strong commitment by all property owners, and their willingness to share thoughts and concerns will ensure a consensus decision regarding our recommendation. For now the focus is and will continue to be working the process for the best possible decision.


Existing Systems

We’d prefer that if sanitary sewer is put around the lake, that people like us (recently put in a new system) shouldn’t be forced to connect to it.  We’d be willing to (at most) pay the assessment for the sewer to go by our place, but we don’t want to pay to connect, nor do we want to have to pay monthly charges.

If as much time and energy was applied to the major pollution causes instead of the minority, wouldn’t it be more beneficial to all?  We came see the need of some that might need this problem to be addressed (especially after state/county regulations are changed) but why is it all or none?  Can there be an option of in or out to actual connection to the system?  We believe that the county should be adopting regulations that better address the real problems and not concocting ones that suit their needs.

We only use this on weekends.  We put in a new holding tank – ours is updated.  This is not like a house with washers, dishwasher, etc.  Find out which ones don’t work properly and get them fixed.


It is our understanding after discussions with the County, that should it be decided to put in a split-loop system around Diamond Lake, that any homeowners with systems that are in compliance will not be required to hook up to the loop.  However, all homeowners would be required to pay for the loop whether they hook to it or not.


For or Against Comments

The proposed loop system may solve the sewer problems but is it the best solution.  Given the high cost both with installation and monthly costs, I feel it would make more sense to first have all systems inspected and then require owners of all systems that do not comply to current standards, to update their individual systems.  Once the systems are upgraded, then a system of monitoring needs to be implemented to see that the new systems continue to function properly.

We favor the proposed loop system.

Promote sewer for area.

We would like to see a sewer system on Diamond Lake.

To ensure that the lake is cleaned up of contaminates.  I think we need the sewer system.  I am planning on building a year round home and feel we need the sewer system.

I am in favor of having a community wastewater treatment system.  My small property will not allow for an updated mound system.

Central sewage system with reasonable monthly charge!

No concerns but we prefer individual sewer systems.

We need a sewer system now.  It is crazy to think that our septic are not the problem…we need action now.

I believe this is an unnecessary expense for the small cottage and part time residents of the area.  My family has owned the cottage since around 1911.  This only really helps the developers in the area.  We put in a self-contained system less then 10 years ago.

I do not believe individual sewer systems are a viable solution for the sewer problems around Diamond Lake.  With the small lot sizes, poor soil content and ever changing government regulations, I feel the only solution is to go with a community type sewer system.  The longer we wait, the more expensive the project will be.


As you can see, we have people on both sides of the issue.  This is expected with all issues of this size that affect so many people.  Based on the limited number of comments “For or Against” a loop system for the 366 property owners, we on the committee take this to mean that the vast majority are waiting to see the results of the inspections and the costs associated with all the various options before making their final decision.  We will continue to gather information and various options to be presented to everyone later this summer so that they can make an informed decision.


General Comments

We are concerned that the committees and associations may not address fair representation of all lake owners.  We are in favor of a lake wide system, due to deteriorating lake water quality, not often able to count on clean water as early as the 4th of July.  Would like overall vote to come from MFCRWD.

Permanent, long-term solution.

Update soil assessment.

Soil conditions?  Breezy Point Road bisects a wetland from the lake.  “Rumor” has it was once part of the lake.  Farmers filled it in with trees during a drought.  A lot of land movement in winter.  A sewer is only as strong as its’ weakest link.  What happens to the “T” joints in the movement?

Strongly urge you to consider Atwater instead of Green Lake.

Would like some kind of sewer systems around the lake.  Clusters?  Sent someplace? Etc.  Would like to get any and all possible grants out there…federal, state, county, etc.

Let’s forget the committees and let the experts install the sewer.

How about water as long as sewer is being considered?

The first concern is this process needs to move forward as fast as possible….  Whatever the solution, it should be presented in 6 to 12 months so people are not left guessing as to whether they should put in a new system or wait for a community based sewer system.


While a few people feel that this whole process is a waste of time and we should just go ahead with the loop system, we would like to remind everyone that the County was not going to address this issue until 2009 or 2010 and that the County was the one who suggested that we look into all the options.  If we do not use the time available wisely and get involved, then the County will just go ahead with the process.  We feel that all the volunteer hours that we are spending to look at all the various options will be of great benefit to every property owner.

When it comes to the final vote after everyone has been informed of their options, all property owners will get a chance to vote.

Link to Middlefork Crow Waste Water Info Web Site (click on the link below to go to this site)

Middlefork Crow Web Site for Diamond Lake

July 10, 2009
Harlan Meints’ Home

Present:  Brad DeWolf, Gary Danielson, Dean Helstrom, Ken Gutzwieller, Harlan Meints, Becky Ricklefs, Gordie Behm, Jon Hanson, Arlen Zuidema, Bob Lund, Richard Phillips, Colleen O’Leary.

Harlan Meints was appointed contact person for the committee.

Brad DeWolf informed us that Kandiyohi has not yet closed on their loan application with PFA.  That should happen in the next two weeks.  Thus Brad handed out a revised timeline, with everything moved back.

The project would include the loop, grinder for each property or group of properties, and costs on options for each homeowner such as mound removal, etc.

Grinder pumps are 24 inches in diameter and 11 feet deep.  They are a holding tank and a pump that pumps to the system when it gets so full.  It has 25 gallon storage per foot and kicks on and off at 1 foot increments.  This will amount to 100 to 150 gallons of storage.  It is an industrial type grinder with an average life span of 80 years.  If the power goes out, you can still use a little bit of water without a problem.  There is a grinder on the bottom.  If something goes wrong or needs to be replaced, the homeowner can call a representative of the company.  There is a five-year warranty.  There are three floats in the grinder: stop, start, and high water.  If liquid reaches the high water mark, a horn alarm will sound.  . If a homeowner has an emergency generator, the grinder can be hooked up using a 240-volt connection).

All lines for the system will be bored.  Boring costs treats everyone the same no matter how long the expanse is.  Existing tanks will be crushed and filled as part of the project cost, or removed at the homeowner’s expense. 

Two to three meetings with each property owner will be held as the project goes forward.

If a service contract were used, it would allow for more sharing of grinders.  If grinders are shared, they try to get one of the homeowners to provide the electrical service for the grinder so that the cost is known and the homeowners can then share the cost.  If a grinder is shared, the costs are shared equally. 

Brad presented a breakdown on how the resort and campground will be allotted equivalent dwelling units.  Co. Park 3’s costs are yet to be determined depending upon how many of the parks unit are hooked up.

Previous questions that were submitted were addressed in a handout.

The monthly bill will come each month with the Kandiyohi Power Company bill.  This will include the water and electrical usage.

Property owners whose systems are compliant and who choose not to join the loop will be required, by sanitary district ordinance, to maintain those systems.  Once these systems become noncompliant they will be required to hookup to the loop. 

Homeowners can have a capped stub line run for future use at no cost when lines are being put in.  This would greatly reduce future hook up costs.

Diamond Lake will have one member on the GLSSWD board.  We would choose that person at our DLARA meeting.  County board has the final decision on who that person will be.

The GLSSWD will start dewatering solids with Kandiyohi coming on line.

The next meeting will be July 31 at 10:00 at Harlan’s home to go over the presentation that will be made at the public hearing.

Submitted by Becky Ricklefs, DLARA secretary.
Click here to add text.
This committee is working with the county and the engineers to determine the best options and timelines for dealing with the septic issue around the lake.

Harlan Meints           hmeints61@hotmail.com

Ken Gutzwiller          gutz_kj@msn.com 

Richard Phillips         rdp48@frontiernet.net

Bob Lund                rlundfarm@frontiernet.net

Arlin Zuidema          adzfarms@redred.com

Becky Ricklefs         lakebecky@frontiernet.net

Jon Hanson            odetta@frontiernet.net

Elaine Seitsema      elaine_seitsema@ricelake.org 

Colleen O'Leary       cmoleary@vacation.com


Friday August 21st at Harlan Meints' residence, 14249 Breezy Point Road, at 10:00 a.m.