Chesterton Tribune

Storage tank will not be built on State Park Little League fields

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The Chesterton Utility Service Board has opted not to build a new storage tank—mandated by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management—on the State Park Little League ball fields.

Instead, the tank will be constructed to the north and west of the fields.

So DLZ engineer Mark Nye announced at the Service Board’s meeting Tuesday night.

The peculiar elevations of the Utility’s property prompted the re-location, Nye noted, since the original site by the ball fields would have forced the tank, when full, to be pumped twice, rather than once and then gravity-flowed to treatment.

To reduce the 1.2 million gallon tank’s footprint as much as possible, Nye said, it will be placed some 20 feet deep, with around three to four feet of structure remaining above ground. “It hasn’t been determined whether the tank will be covered or left open,” Nye added. Covering it will likely cost more but leaving it open could cause an odor issue as well as expose the contents to the elements.

Construction of the tank is part of the Utility’s long term control plan to reduce sewage bypasses into the Little Calumet River. That plan will be submitted to IDEM late in May, with public comment scheduled for the Service Board’s April 18 meeting.

Estimated price tag: “easily” $5 million, Town Engineer Mark O’Dell said.

President Larry Brandt wanted to know when exactly the Utility can expect IDEM approval of the long term control plan, for two reasons specifically. First, “the sooner we can build this thing, the sooner we can improve the community,” he said.

But second, Brandt observed, “we’ve got to plan now to get that kind of money.”

O’Dell figured construction will likely begin in 2013 with completion in 2014.

Inasmuch as the “funding mechanism will probably be a bond issue”—as Town Attorney Chuck Lukmann projected—H.J. Umbaugh & Associates, the Utility’s contracted rate consultant, needs to have as much information as possible when it conducts the next biennial rate study in 2012, Brandt said.

“We’re assuming there will be no federal or state funding” for the project, Brandt added, given the fact that the Town of Chesterton is generally “too affluent” to qualify for such assistance.

The tank, when finished, will hold wastewater to be held and later treated to one extent or another, depending on the kind of rain event:

•A so-called one-year, one-hour storm—with rainfall of 1.14 inches per hour—will require the storage and thorough treatment of all wastewater in the tank.

•A 10-year, one-hour storm—with rainfall of 1.98 inches per hour—will require the primary treatment and disinfection of flows.

•All flows above the 10-year, one-hour storm will receive some primary treatment and disinfection.

A tank of this size would have alleviated the need to bypass sewage in all but four of the 27 bypass events in the last four years. Only a tank with a 12-million gallon capacity—which even IDEM recognizes to be prohibitively expensive—would have precluded bypassing in all 27 of those events, Nye has said.



Posted 2/23/2011