wastewater treatment plant began a permitted combined sewer overflow into
the Little Calumet River at 3:30 p.m. Monday, in the wake of the rain event
which began Sunday evening and dropped 2.78 inches on Duneland,
Superintendent Dave Ryan reported to the Town Council at its meeting Monday
At issue isn’t the
1.2-million gallon storage tank built as part of a federally mandated long
term control plan (LTCP) to reduce bypasses. The tank, in fact, worked as
designed, Ryan said, but the flow diverted into it over a period of 20 hours
simply filled it to capacity.
The issue instead
is the fact that wastewater treatment plant is currently operating at only
two-thirds of its peak capacity of 10 million gallons per day, as work
continues on an ongoing rebuild and reconditioning of the plant’s
clarifiers: the large circular basins--located just north of the Utility’s
offices on League Lane--which remove solids from the wastewater.
At the moment, Ryan
told the Chesterton Tribune today, both a final clarifier and a
primary clarifier are out of service. “With the final clarifier out of
service, it drastically reduces our plant capacity by as much as 33 percent
or more,” he said.
The discharge which
began at 3:30 p.m. Monday lasted approximately eight and a half hours, Ryan
said. This morning staff was still working to calculate the total gallonage
involved to report to the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, he
Town Engineer Mark
O’Dell did say last night, after the council meeting, that the clarifier
rehab project is also part of the federally mandated LTCP, which provides
for authorized discharges under extenuating conditions. “We’re treating to
the maximum extent practical given the fact that the final clarifier is down
for construction,” he said.