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Columbia County, specifically Clatskanie and the areas surrounding it, is known to have higher levels of precipitation than other locations in Oregon due to the geography of the land. Landslides and plant failures have caused issues with water safety and accessibility. The state is working on finding solutions to ensure traveler safety and to protect the local economies, but more long-term sustainable solutions are needed.

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A few recreational activities that are common for Clatskanie individuals are going to the ocean to watch the whales migrate, recreational crabbing and clamming, and mussel harvesting. The area has also undergone several issues regarding water safety where raw sewage has been found in the Columbia River due to plant failures, as well as fears around possible negative environmental/water impacts from a new Renewable Fuels Facility The water in this area is largely controlled by plants and infrastructures of The Public Works in which the water is treated and then produced for the consumers (Gandhi, H, n.d.). The watershed is not only a vital source of water for the people but also home to several species including salmon and steelhead (Rebuilding: NOAA issues New Salmon, steelhead efforts. Columbia County, specifically Clatskanie and the areas surrounding it, is known to have higher levels of precipitation than other locations in Oregon due to the geography of the land (New details / landslide update, 2022). Clatskanie resides in the western area of Oregon which is known to be more vulnerable to heavy precipitation, storms, landslides, flooding, sinkholes, and wind (New details / landslide update, 2022). Because of these increased risks, Columbia County has been troubled with several issues surrounding water, land, and disaster. Landslides have been a major issue within the county for quite some time, and recently, there was another scare with one of the largest landslides the city of Clatskanie has experienced. This last year, the city had a major blockage due to heavy rain (Ruark, J. C., 2022). This ended up causing a huge landslide that blocked many areas near Clatskanie on Highway 30 and even damaged a few vehicles (Ruark, J. C., 2022). This resulted in a lot of damage to the land where the landslide occurred and had several crews working to address the issue (Ruark, J. C., 2022). They worked to ensure safer precautions will be taken to avoid another extreme disaster if a landslide occurs again (Ruark, J. C., 2022). Back in 2019, a similar occurrence happened where Highway 30 endured three landslides in different areas all at once due to heavy rain. Not only did these massive landslides cause severe damage and major traffic complications, but the city was also hit hard by overflowing creeks, falling trees, embankment failure, and flooding (Thompson, J., 2019). Countless crews were sent to the scenes where they worked long days to clear the roads of debris, as well as assess the damage so they could restore the highway and make it more sustainable to the weather conditions in the area (Thompson, J., 2019). Another major landslide occurred on Highway 101 near Wheeler and Clastkanie, both cities within Columbia County, which was said to have large pieces of debris and resulted in road closures and car detours (Landslide: Highway 101 closed south of Wheeler, 2022). Landslides continue to be an issue within the county, however, in the article “Landslides: Columbia County impact” it says that the state is working on finding solutions to ensure traveler safety and to protect the local economies. One way they've been able to tackle this issue is by excavating the hillsides of highways to then implement a catchment area for debris to fall into (Ruark, J. C., 2019). They have also put up several slide warning signs so that travelers can know to remain cautious while driving through the area (Ruark, J. C., 2019). The state also removed dangerous trees, as well as placed two utility poles to allow for better lighting on the highway so citizens can watch out for falling debris easier (Ruark, J. C., 2019). Although many solutions are being proposed and put into action, Columbia County still struggles with landslides due to the heavy precipitation it faces (Ruark, J. C., 2022). However, the state is still working to find more long-term sustainable solutions (Ruark, J. C., 2022). Another issue within Columbia County and the City of Clatskanie is the failure of wastewater plants resulting in unclean, even dangerous, water. In early 2022, the Clastkanie wastewater plant became clogged with debris, leading it to fail. This failure caused E. Coli to contaminate the water making it unsafe and undrinkable. This is a serious issue as many people within the county, including those in Clatskanie, are heavily reliant on this water. The failure caused a major disruption in the accessibility to people's water which is why it was so important for the issue to be resolved in a timely manner. This plant failure is suspected to be caused by a combination of old age and clogging due to debris. Divers had to go down in order to investigate the issue and remove the debris since the plant could not be drained. Not only did this affect the drinking water, but it also shut down boat ramps and restricted citizens from entering the water until it was cleaned and safe again (New details / plant failure: Wastewater Treatment Plant fails, again, 2022). Fortunately, the state was able to take this information in and begin the process of collecting funds and crews to build an entirely new plant that will be less prone to malfunction. The Clatskanie wastewater plant has had other issues as well, including discharging more pollution than its wastewater permit allows for (DEQ fines: City of Clatskanie, 2022). Luckily, penalties were given and changes were required in order for the plant to continue on (DEQ fines: City of Clatskanie, 2022). Additionally, Clastakanie's wastewater plant isn't the only facility having issues. The nearby town, Rainier, a city in Columbia County, was fined for discharging sewage water into the Columbia River, as well as for their lack of monitoring, and submission of false records (Mann, C. 2018). When this information was found out, it was appalling to not only the citizens of the town who were reliant on that water, but also the plant employees themselves (Mann, C. 2018). A distrustful employee was at fault for the violations and was fired due to his wrongdoings and for lying to his fellow coworkers (Mann, C. 2018). Fortunately, since discovering the problems, the plant has been restored, the water has been cleaned, and is now back in good condition (Mann, C. 2018). Plant malfunctions can be extremely problematic for humans who rely on the facilities to provide them with water, thus explaining why it is so important for those issues to be taken care of efficiently,

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