Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Pump-out station added to Lakeside marina

For the Eagle | June 9, 2021 2:45 AM

Bruce Young is “pumped” about the new pumpout station in place at the Flathead Harbor at Lakeside.

It’s a water quality measure Young started advocating for 15 years ago.

Nick Coussoulis, the new owner of the marina and neighboring properties, finally installed the pumpout station for the current summer season. It’s one of multiple improvements Coussoulis is implementing in an effort to align the interests of his business and the surrounding community.

“It’s a win for the lake, for the business and for the community,” said Young, a veteran member of the Flathead Lake Protection Association.

The new pumpout station is one of only three such machines anywhere on Flathead Lake. The other two are located at Eagle Bend Yacht Harbour in Bigfork and on Finley Point. It’s the only machinery of its kind on the lake’s west shore.

A pumpout station allows boaters to empty their holding tanks and portable toilets at the marina, with a direct connection to the Lakeside County Water and Sewer District. Without it, Young worried recreators on Flathead Lake might take the easy route and dump their waste right into the lake.

It was a messy situation, especially with the swimming area a mere 300 feet north of the marina.

In 2006, Young and the Flathead Lake Protection Association went to court to make sure a pumpout station became a necessary part of building a marina in Lakeside.

“It wasn’t any fun to have to litigate 15 years ago,” Young admitted.

But he said, “I felt this was essential for any marina and for the lake.”

Although the litigation was successful, Young says the stipulation was never enforced.

Mark Leichti with APEC Engineering, based in Somers, performed the installation in Lakeside. He said pumpout stations are rare because they’re costly to install, and it can be difficult to find the right hookups to put one into place.

But under the new management of Coussoulis, the marina received not only the long-awaited pumpout station, but also a handful of other additions as well.

For increased water quality on the shores of Lakeside, Coussoulis installed a water filter on Bierney Creek, known as a “Jellyfish” filter. The complicated mechanism goes 18 feet deep below ground level with a $45,000 tank to keep unhealthy substances from entering Flathead Lake.

“It has taken a tremendous investment,” said Young. “This will greatly enhance the inner harbor and the lakefront.”

Protecting Flathead Lake—“the goose that laid the golden egg,” as Young described it—is just one of Coussoulis’ priorities for his new Lakeside business.

He’s also making a commitment to enhancing the larger community through his collection of Lakeside enterprises, which include the Flathead Harbor at Lakeside, the Harbor Grille, Far West Boat Tours and the Edgewater R.V. Resort and Motel.

At the marina, he added fueling stations and expanded the parking lot.

At the nearby Harbor Grille, he’s building a glass-enclosed tiki bar.

And between the two, he’s putting in a much-needed sidewalk behind the guardrail along U.S. 93 South.

“It’s all a plus for this community,” said Young.

Flathead Harbor at Lakeside is located at 7007 U.S. 93 South.

Reporter Bret Anne Serbin may be reached at 406-758-4459 or bserbin@dailyinterlake.com.