Saturday, May 18, 2013
Covering Dallas, Monmouth, Independence, Falls City and surrounding areas since 1868
September 11, 2012
FALLS CITY -- The pool of water on Falls City High School's football field turned out to be nothing more than a case of too much watering.
The football field was cleared for use and reopened Monday after being closed part of last week, which resulted in FCHS's first scheduled home game of the season Friday night being moved to the opponent's home field.
The field had been closed as a precaution against a possible overflow of the city's sewer drain field, which is located underneath the playing surface. The standing water was discovered on the field in late August, prompting the closure.
Test results received on Friday confirmed that no sewage had leaked to the surface.
"All signs indicate that the field was overwatered," said City Administrator Amber Mathiesen.
The city treated the field with lime for a last time as a precautionary measure before reopening it for use Monday.
Falls City's football team played Friday's game at Chemawa in northeast Salem.
Last year -- at the same time -- a pool of water collecting on the field was identified as a sewer system leak, which closed the field for a couple of weeks while the city corrected the issue.
This time, the city used the same caution.
"We weren't sure if the water was coming from the drain field or from the school district watering the field in preparation for (football season)," Mathiesen said. "We took the conservative approach and closed the field."
Initial tests on the water were inconclusive, so the city decided to conduct another series of tests to make sure treated water running through the drain field wasn't percolating to the surface.
Mathiesen said the city will install equipment to monitor water levels in the future, which should help maintenance crews know when the field or areas of the field are being watered too much.