Chesterton Tribune

 

 

Storage tank being built would have prevented May sewage bypasses

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By KEVIN NEVERS

There were two bypasses of wastewater into the Little Calumet River in May, following heavy rain events: one of 228,600 gallons on May 11 and another of 33,900 gallons on May 20.

Neither of those bypasses would have been necessary had the Utility’s 1.2-million gallon storage tank--currently under construction--been in operation at the time.

So Mark Nye of DLZ--the town’s contracted engineer on the tank project--reported to the Utility Service Board at its meeting Monday night.

The Indiana Department of Environmental Management was notified of last month’s two bypasses, Nye added.

The storage tank is the key feature of the Utility’s federally mandated “long term control plan” (LTCP) to reduce bypasses into the Little Cal. During heavy rain events, the Utility’s main lift station will pump stormwater-diluted wastewater into the tank, to be stored there 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.

Gariup Construction Company of Gary is the general contractor on the job, which has a contract price of $8,471,800. The Utility is financing the entirety of the LTCP--with an estimated total cost of around $14.9 million--with a low-interest loan from the State Revolving Fund. To pay for that loan, the Town Council, at the Service Board’s recommendation, approved a sewer rate hike of 6 percent, which took effect Jan. 1, 2013, and which raised the average household’s bimonthly bill from $76.80 to $81.26, an increase of $4.46 or $2.23 per month.

Other components of the LTCP: various improvements at the wastewater treatment plant, at a cost of $1.89 million; the re-lining of the 42-inch main under Eighth Street, at a cost of $377,775; lift station upgrades, including the installation of three-phase power at the Golfview Estates and Dogwood lift stations, at a cost of $203,000.

Morningside

In other business, President Larry Brandt announced--with something like relief--that the State Revolving Fund (SRF) has approved the preliminary engineering report (PER) for the Morningside project, 15 years after the Utility first realized that the supports which carry 700 feet of the 18-inch gravity main serving Morningside over the Little Calumet River flood plain are failing.

That flood plain is in fact a designated wetland, prompting the very close interest throughout the engineering stage of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, both of which found it necessary to perform numerous environmental assessments and species surveys.

The Morningside project was originally included in Phase II of the LTCP but delays in the permitting process threatened to derail SRF financing for the main component of Phase II, the storage tank itself, so the project was carved out and set aside. SRF’s approval of the PER may mean that the Morningside project can now be piggybacked on Phase III of the LTCP.

STV Group Inc. has devised a plan under which a new system of supports will be erected: 30 screw-in helical piers sunk to a depth of 30 feet at 15 locations along the aerial line. The piers are not expected to impact the wetland itself and the work will be done on a temporary structure of “timber mats” placed on the ground.

The total estimated cost: between $200,000 and $250,000.

The aerial stretch of the sewer main is necessary not only to carry the line over the Little Calumet River but to maintain the necessary gravity grade over the length of the line. On the south side of the river the main eventually enters a manhole and flows the rest of the way to the treatment plant underground.

 

 

Posted 6/20/2014