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.
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.
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.