Last fall the
Chesterton Utility hired a contractor to slipline a 335-foot stretch of a
27-inch sanitary sewer main beneath West Morgan Ave. between 14th and 12th
streets, to remedy a suspected breach in the pipe through which sand and
gravel were being washed away, causing a recurring sink hole to form
immediately west of 14th Street.
Now a new sinkhole
has emerged, on West Morgan Ave. just east of 12th Street, and a breach in
the same sewer main is believed to be culprit. So Superintendent Dave Ryan
reported at Monday night’s meeting of the Utility Service Board.
The new sinkhole
has been backfilled twice, Ryan said, and “seems to be okay now.”
The source of the
sinkhole, however--like that of the one which formed in 2017--is uncertain.
A video camera last year was never able to confirm a breach in the pipe,
which as Ryan noted at the time didn’t mean there wasn’t some “dime- or
quarter-sized hole we couldn’t see.”
This time the video
camera has found a “pencil-sized hole near a joint,” which Ryan said could
be the problem. “But if that’s what causing the sinkhole, it’s been going on
Ryan told the
Service Board that plans are being made to slipline the rest of the West
Morgan Ave. sewer main in sections.
In other business,
members voted unanimously to approve an expenditure of up to $5,000 to
retain the services of a consultant--should Ryan deem one necessary--to
prepare a Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) public notification plan, a new
requirement imposed by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.
The plan is due by
Aug. 7 and will be a condition of the Utility’s next National Pollutant
Discharge Elimination System permit, which authorizes the Utility to operate
the wastewater treatment plant.
several years ago of the 1.2-million gallon storage basin at the plant has
significantly reduced both the frequency and severity of releases of
wastewater into the Little Calumet River during heavy rain events.
The Lab Honored,
announced that the Utility’s lab has once again been awarded the Indiana
Water Environment Association’s Laboratory Excellence Award.
“Kudos to our staff
for their dedication and efforts in making this achievement possible,” Ryan
The Service Board
heartily applauded lab staff and while no one could remember exactly how
many consecutive years the Utility’s lab has been so honored, President
Larry Brandt noted that the award has been presented to staff every year of
his tenure on the board, and that’s very nearly a quarter of a century.
“Congratulations to the lab,” he said. “They did an excellent job again.”
May in Review
In May, Chesterton
used 57.18 percent of its 3,668,000 gallon per day (gpd) allotment of the
wastewater treatment plant; Porter, 58.32 percent of its 851,000 gpd
allotment; the Indian Boundary Conservancy District, 74.36 percent of its
81,000 gpd allotment; and the plant as a whole, 57.70 percent of its
There were no
bypasses of wastewater into the Little Calumet River in May, in what was the
wettest month of the year to date, with 5.98 inches of rain recorded at the
In May the Utility
ran a surplus of $245,497.34 and in the year to date in running a surplus of