Chesterton Tribune



Bids for Phase I of plan to reduce sewage bypasses rejected as too high

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The Chesterton Utility Service Board has rejected all bids for Phase I of the long term control plan (LTCP), the federal mandate to reduce combined sewer overflows into the Little Calumet River.

At a special meeting on Monday, members voted unanimously to reject the bids for Phase 1A, Phase 1B, and Phase 1C.

Associate Town Attorney Chuck Lukmann told the Chesterton Tribune today that, in general, the bids came in high. The specifications are currently being tweaked for re-advertisement. A special meeting has been scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Monday, June 3, to open the new bids; and one for 6:30 p.m. Thursday, June 6, to award the contracts.

Although the major thrust of the LTCP is the construction of a 1.2-million gallon storage tank to hold stormwater-diluted wastewater during heavy rain events until the treatment plant can catch up, the LTCP is comprised of several other components as well.

The bids rejected on Monday were for three of those ancillary projects: 1A, improvements at the treatment plant, including the installation of a sludge thickener and purchase of a new generator; 1B, the rehabilitation and re-lining of five manholes serving two sanitary sewer lines; and 1C, the acquisition of a permanent emergency generator at the Westwood Manor lift station and electrical upgrades at the Golfview Estates and Dogwood lift stations.

The LTCP is a mandate of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, administered by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, the whole point of which is to significantly reduce the amount of sewage which the Utility is forced to release into the Little Cal River during heavy rains.

Those sewage releases are more technically known as combined sewage overflows and they’re caused by unseparated sanitary and stormwater systems, or else by the infiltration of a sanitary system. During very wet weather, the amount of stormwater which finds its way into the town’s sanitary system can sometimes threaten to swamp the wastewater treatment plant, forcing bypasses.

The LTCP is designed to reduce, if not altogether to eliminate, the need for bypasses, with the construction of the 1.2-million gallon storage tank, into which the plant’s main lift station will pump the stomwater-diluted wastewater until the severity of the storm decreases and the plant’s capacity has had a chance to catch up. The tank will then bleed the excess back into the system for full treatment.

The total estimated cost of the plan: $14.9 million. The Utility Service Board expects to close on a low-interest loan from the State Revolving Fund early this summer.

Common Construction

Wage Committee

Meanwhile, the Common Construction Wage Committee--which will establish the wages for the LTCP--will meet at 11 a.m. Monday, May 6, at the Valparaiso City Hall, 166 Lincolnway.




Posted 5/2/2013







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