Chesterton Tribune

New home in town? Consider a second water meter for outdoor summer use

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Chesterton Utility Service Board Member Scot McCord is issuing his annual warning to new customers of the Utility.

If you have recently moved to a new house in town and expect to fill a swimming pool or water a newly seeded lawn this summer, be prepared to pay the piper when you get your summer sanitary sewer bill in the fall.

As McCord noted at Monday’s meeting of the Service Board, residents who have an established rate—that is, who paid for sanitary sewer service this year in the billing period extending from mid-February through mid-April—get a break in the billing period extending from mid-June through mid-August. Under a policy established by the Service Board, they pay the lesser of two amounts: a rate based on their actual consumption in the summer billing period, or a rate based on their prior consumption in the winter billing period.

But new residents who have no established rate will have to pay the full summer ate, and it could be high if they use a lot of water for recreation, landscaping, or gardening. That’s because the Utility bills its customers on their consumption of water, as calculated by Indiana-American Water Company (IAWC).

Because that consumption typically increases in the summer, however, and much of the water used does not actually enter the sanitary sewer system is accordingly not treated, the Utilities gives its established customers a break.

Residents without an established rate do have one option, though. They may arrange with IAWC to have a second meter installed to measure their outdoor water consumption.

Force Main Bids

In other business, the Service Board voted 5-0 to take under advisement the bids received for the installation of a new force main beneath West

Porter Ave. between South Calumet Road and Fifth Street.

The bids:

•$457,618.12 from G.E. Marshall of Valparaiso.

•$488,488 from Woodruff & Sons of Michigan City.

•$602,307 from LGS Plumbing of Crown Point.

The necessity of installing a new force main emerged two summers ago when it was discovered—thanks to a sink hole at the intersection of West Porter Ave. and Eighth Street—that the ductile iron pipe of the original main had disintegrated, for reasons still unknown, years before it should have. A new PVC force main was laid between Fifth Street and Eighth Street but the second stretch, between South Calumet Road and Fifth Street, is still underground.

That force main serves the Dickinson Road lift station east of Ind. 49. At the time a temporary bypass was implemented linking the failed force main to a gravity main and that bypass remains in effect.

This project will funded through revenues from last year’s $5.1 million bond issue.

Other Projects

•The re-lining of the Porter Ave. gravity main—partially funded by a federal earmark secured by U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-1st—should begin sometime in July, once the contractor has submitted a safety plan, work schedule, and other documents to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

•Members voted 5-0 to hold a special meeting at 6:45 p.m. July 12 to open bids for Phase II of the Downtown sanitary sewer replacement and separation project. Phase II involves the installation of a new stormwater line beneath South Calumet Road between Morgan Ave. and Porter Ave. While on the subject, McCord took note of the fortuitousness of the Service Board’s decision to postpone Phase I of the project to next year, given the ongoing strike of Teamsters Local 142. “We got lucky,” he said. “If we’d gone ahead with it this year, right now we’d be sitting with a big open hole in the Downtown.”

•R.V. Sutton Inc. has completed the emergency repair of a collapsed sewer line behind the houses on Moraine Road in the Morningside subdivision. President Larry Brandt took a moment to express his admiration for R.V. Sutton’s professionalism, given the fact that the line in question was 16 feet deep and was overlaid by a Verizon line.

•Members also expressed their appreciation to Woodruff & Sons Inc. for its quick and skilled response to the collapse of a sanitary sewer line earlier this month into Coffee Creek along the north side of East Porter Ave. “Everybody worked together,” McCord said. “Woodruff was just like ants crawling around taking care of the problem.” For his part Member Jim Raffin remarked on the well-posted detour route directing motorists around the work site.

May in Review

In May Chesterton used 60.14 percent of its 3,752,000 gallon per day (gpd) allotment of the wastewater treatment plant; Porter, 60.01 percent of its 767,000 gpd allotment; the Indian Boundary Conservancy District, 82.50 percent of its 81,000 gpd allotment; and the plant as a whole, 60.65 percent of its capacity.

May was a wet month, with 3.82 inches of rain recorded at the plant. A total of 2.5 million gallons were bypassed during rain events.

In May the Utility ran surplus of $183,944 and in the year-to-date is running a deficit of $144.147.



Posted 6/25/2010