Chesterton Tribune



Chesterton Utility to slipline West Morgan Avenue sewer main

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The Chesterton Utility Service Board decided last month to spend $56,000 to slipline three sections of sanitary sewer main on and immediately off North Calumet Road, in a preemptive move to secure a 75-year-old line in likely danger of failing.

To that project the Service Board has now decided to add a second component: sliplining a 335-foot portion of main under West Morgan Ave., immediately east of South 15th Street.

At issue: a sink hole at the intersection of West Morgan Ave. and South 14th Street, whose apparent cause--as near as Superintendent Dave Ryan and his staff can tell--is some small breach in the 27-inch main, allowing sand and gravel to wash away into the pipe, thereby creating the sinkhole.

Ryan told the Service Board at its meeting Monday night that a video camera has been unable actually to find such a breach. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t some “dime- or quarter-sized hole we can’t see,” he said. “The sinkhole is caused by something and our pipe is the only thing in the area.”

By bundling the two sliplining projects, Ryan said, the Utility has been able to get a 10-percent discount from low quoter Pipevision of Illinois. The total cost for doing both jobs: $102,220. The per-foot cost for slipling all 1,065 feet of pipe: $95.98.

“I’d rather spend the money now than on a catastrophe later,” Member Scot McCord remarked.


In other business, members voted unanimously to refund the tap-on fee already paid by the contractor for EasyDial, the California firm developing a property on Locust Street to manufacture portable kidney dialysis machines.

Emerson DeLaney, EasyDial’s local representative, requested the refund, after informing the Service Board that construction of the facility has been delayed into 2018, and a corporate decision was made that “the money would be better spent elsewhere.”

The tap-on fee will be re-paid to the Utility when construction commences next year.


Meanwhile, members voted unanimously to reimburse a resident of the 300 block of North Calumet Road the $275 cost of hiring a plumber to rout out his service lateral, following a sewage backup in his home.

Turns out, the lateral had not actually been connected to the new main installed earlier this summer after the line collapsed and was replaced, Ryan told the Service Board. “It was our fault,” he said. “It was the contractor’s fault.”

The contractor, Woodruff & Sons of Michigan City, has since connected that resident’s lateral, at a pro forma cost of $7,052, which Woodruff then halved, Ryan said. “They cut it in half, acknowledging their part of the fault.”

Ryan did say that he has questions about the balance of the claim, which he intends to discuss with Woodruff.

“They’re a good company,” noted Member John Schnadenberg. “They’ll work with us.”

“They’re a very good company,” Ryan agreed.

August in Review

In August, Chesterton used 43.64 percent of its 3,668,000 gallon per day (gpd) allotment of the wastewater treatment plant; Porter, 42.89 percent of its 851,000 gpd allotment; the Indian Boundary Conservancy District, 46.01 percent of its 81,000 gpd allotment; and the plant as a whole, 43.54 percent of its capacity.

There were no bypasses of wastewater into the Little Calumet River, in a month which saw only 1.64 inches of rain recorded at the treatment plant.

In August, the Utility ran a deficit of $241,114.29 and in the year-to-date is running a surplus of $393,097.23.

Of the fact that the treatment plant, over the first eight months of the year, is averaging roughly 53 percent of its capacity, President Larry Brandt said this: “The money we’ve invested in capital projects is paying off. Ten years after the expansion and we’re operating at only 50-percent capacity. That will save us millions of dollars that we don’t have to spend to expand the plant again.”

McCord, for his part, noted that the 1.2-million gallon storage tank--built under a federal mandate to reduce bypasses--is also making a big difference. Since that tank went on line not quite two years ago, there has been only one bypass of wastewater into the Little Calumet River, and that was the result of a power failure at the plant.



Posted 9/20/2017





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