Chesterton Tribune



Generator malfunction at treatment plant leads to bypass during blackout

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Not quite a year after the Chesterton Utility’s $8.4-million, 1.2-million gallon storage tank was commissioned--for the express purpose of holding untreated wastewater during heavy rain events to prevent combined sewer overflows into the Little Calumet River--the plant was forced to bypass.

It happened at 9:30 p.m. Sunday during a torrential downpour. All told, approximately 127,000 gallons were released into the Little Cal, Town Engineer Mark O’Dell reported at the Town Council’s meeting Monday night.

In point of fact, it was no fault of the tank--which could easily have held the 127,000 gallons with nary a belch--but a power outage which did the trick.

A power outage, that is, followed by the malfunction of a battery charger on the wastewater treatment plant’s backup generator, which failed to turn on and power up when electric service to the plant was disrupted.

“It was an equipment failure and had nothing to do with the plant expansion or the tank,” O’Dell said.

Early Morning Contractor Work

In other business, O’Dell addressed the complaints he’s been receiving lately from residents disturbed by the early hours being kept by contractors at work in town.

Contractors have been showing up at job sites before 7 a.m., largely because it’s been so beastly hot, O’Dell noted. “It’s the excessive heat. The contractors are trying to get done by 2 and get out by 2 to get out of the weather.”

it’s a not unreasonable thing to do, O’Dell suggested. In any case, the town has no ordinance on the books regulating job-site times.


Posted 7/26/2016





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