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    Category: Sewer and Septic Clean

    Booker pushing for sewer service for the rest of Arco – Brunswick News - July 31, 2017 by admin

    Sewer service may be on its way to the Arco neighborhood in the next few years if a cooperative effort works out between Glynn County Commissioner Allen Booker and the Brunswick-Glynn Joint Water and Sewer Commission.

    From my understanding they do not (all have sewer), a lot of places have septic, Booker said. I know my district, I know people that live over there and dont have sewer.

    Booker is proposing to use money from the Community Development Block Grant to get the job done.

    Ive asked them to work with us to go after a CDBG grant to run water and sewer, to expand it over into Arco, Booker said.

    According to the countys grant writer, Monica Hardin, the grant covers a number of things, including water and sewer expansion into low-income areas. The grant, worth $750,000, must be used for activities that help low- and moderate-income neighborhoods, according to the U.S. Housing and Urban Development Departments website.

    Nothing will be done this year, however, as the deadline for applying for the grant has passed. The deadline for the next block grant is April 2018, Hardin said.

    Utility Executive Director Jimmy Junkin said its still early in the conversation, but the JWSC is already considering some more modern techniques to keep the projects cost within the budget they will have available. If they can do the work with the money from the grant, they will seriously look at moving forward with the project.

    Using the sewer system will not be mandatory. According to the countys ordinances, someone is only required to tap in if they are building a new structure or significantly altering an existing one within 500 feet of a sewer line.

    This effort to expand the sewer system is part of a larger push by Booker to fight poverty in Arco, a neighborhood which mostly just outside of the Brunswick city limits. Booker said he has already met with members of county staff to put together a preliminary plan to start doing more to improve the neighborhood.

    He said Hardin had already been successful in securing a grant for rehabilitating three parks in the neighborhood to give residents access to more outdoor activities.

    Along with the renovations to parks and expansion of sewer infrastructure, Booker is also looking to get the residents personally involved in their neighborhood through an Arco planning assembly. The assembly would organize tasks such as community cleanups.

    Booker said most of his plan is still preliminary, and that he will elaborate further as it comes together.

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    Booker pushing for sewer service for the rest of Arco - Brunswick News

    Cleaning up human waste is cheapest way to improve health of region’s beaches, report finds – The San Diego Union-Tribune - July 31, 2017 by admin

    Its been thought for decades that stormwater runoff is the major source of bacterial pollution in the countys rivers, bays and beaches triggering swimming advisories up and down the regions shoreline for 72 hours after it rains.

    However, the greatest source of dangerous pathogens flowing from these urban waterways into the ocean may actually be coming from human waste. Thats according to a newly released study commissioned by the areas top water-quality regulators in collaboration with the city and county of San Diego.

    The reports authors said cleaning up sources of human feces such as leaky sewer pipes and homeless encampments near rivers and streams is the cheapest way to improve public health at beaches and bays following periods of precipitation.

    Human waste carries significantly more pathogens that can cause gastrointestinal illness and other infections than waste from other warm-blooded animals, including raccoons, coyotes, horses and dogs, according to scientists.

    I was personally surprised at the extent of human waste that weve observed in our monitoring, said Todd Snyder, manager of the watershed protection program for the county of San Diego. The preliminary results that were seeing is that this human waste is everywhere upstream in the watershed, downstream in the watershed, tributaries, the main stem of the San Diego River.

    The San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board has required cities under its jurisdiction to limit bacterial pollution at specific locations during dry-weather conditions by 2021 and during rain events by 2031. The program stretches through more than a dozen watersheds, from Chollas and Scripps to San Marcos and Laguna Beach.

    The new report looked at the most cost-effective ways to meet state standards for cleaning up fecal bacteria at 20 of the most impacted beaches, rivers and creek segments in San Diego and southern Orange counties.

    Following release of the cost analysis, environmental groups expressed concern that local governments would try to use the findings to delay compliance with broader water-quality regulations. But they agreed that leaking sewer pipes and other sources of human waste could be the primary culprit polluting beaches with harmful bacteria.

    While we question the motives behind the study and some of its methodology, to the extent this study allows our governments to reverse years of poor planning and fix aging wastewater infrastructure, we hope it can be useful, said Matt O'Malley, executive director of San Diego Coastkeeper.

    According to the report, for every $1 million spent by public agencies to reduce human waste in rivers and beaches, about 152 fewer people a decade on average would get sick from associated pathogens.

    A different analysis the Surfer Health Study commissioned last year by the city and county of San Diego found that adults who went surfing 72 hours after it rained were more likely than dry-weather beachgoers to suffer gastrointestinal illnesses.

    For every 1,000 surfers who went into the ocean within three days of a rain event, 30 fell ill on average, according to the Surfer Health analysis. Thats compared with 25 out of 1,000 surfers who got sick after getting in the water during dry-weather conditions.

    The Surfer Health examination, which was conducted by UC Berkeley and the Surfrider Foundation, also found that while higher rates of illness were correlated with wet-weather conditions, the increase didnt exceed water-quality guidelines established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

    At this point, San Diego County officials are trying to pinpoint where the human sewage in watersheds is coming from. The potential sources are wide-ranging: broken septic tanks, illegal dumping by RVs, transients camped in creek beds and cracking wastewater pipes.

    Were doing more water-quality monitoring to see where are the highest concentrations, so we can go after those and dig in further, said Snyder, the watershed protection manager. For sewer pipes, we just need to keep working our way upstream to figure out where those hotspots are.

    Community advocates for river and creek rehabilitation projects said homeless encampments are a significant source of pollution in urban waterways.

    One of the large problems is transient populations in the creek, all up and down the watershed, said Leslie Reynolds, executive director of Groundwork San Diego.

    On Friday, she was standing next to a section of Chollas Creek at Market Street and Euclid Avenue that her nonprofit group has helped restore dramatically, including a walking path, interpretive signage and native vegetation.

    The revamped creek also had at least half a dozen homeless people congregating in and around it Friday, including 64-year-old Marcel Smith. He said people sleep in a culvert in the dry creek bed and that some relieve themselves in the area.

    We have Starbucks across the street, so a lot of times if a person needs to go to the bathroom, thats where we go, Smith said. You find a lot that go over to the Starbucks and then you find the ones that dont. It varies.

    The newly released cost-analysis report for reducing fecal bacteria comes as part of a debate about how and to what extent to improve water quality throughout the region. Should cities and counties follow traditional metrics that look at particular types of contamination, such as harmful bacteria? Or should they embrace broader approaches that seek to restore entire rivers and streams? Or should they concentrate on improving only aspects of watershed health that directly affect people?

    Water-quality regulators have long pressured cities in San Diego County to clean up pollution through improvements to their stormwater systems. River contamination is worsened by rains, which flush everything from cigarette butts and industrial chemicals to lawn fertilizers and pet feces into waterways.

    Municipalities have submitted extensive plans for meeting these goals, and in the past decade have started limiting hardscape surfaces in targeted areas because they speed up runoff flows and tightening rules on new housing and commercial development to require filtration systems that enable more urban runoff to soak into the ground.

    All the while, cities have routinely pushed back on the huge price tags associated with larger river restoration projects and major overhauls of public stormwater systems. The collective cost runs into the billions of dollars over time.

    After accounting for financial benefits associated with recreation, public health and other factors, the expense associated with cleaning up bacterial pollution in the regions rivers, creeks and beaches during and after storms would amount to about $34.6 million a year for the next 65 years, according to the new report.

    In light of the latest findings, city and county officials have a chance to petition the regional water quality board to revise its overall approach and extend timelines for compliance.

    While focusing efforts on human waste wouldnt necessarily satisfy the boards current standards for limiting overall bacterial pollution, it would be cheaper requiring about $20.7 million annually for the next 65 years.

    The new report also said if the deadline for wet-weather compliance were postponed until 2051, municipalities could reach compliance by spending only $7.8 million on average for the next 65 years.

    Environmental advocates have strongly rejected a longer timeline for compliance, arguing that the water quality board has already extended its deadline for wet-weather standards from 10 years to two decades.

    They have pushed for even more expensive changes, calling for large-scale rehabilitation of urban rivers and streams. They believe such investments would create lush, clean and inviting spaces that would also boost home values.

    The new report found that incorporating more restoration strategies along with upgrading stormwater systems would have by far the greatest benefits including millions of dollars of savings in public-health costs and higher revenues associated with recreation.

    But wide-scale rehabilitation of rivers and comprehensive restoration of wetlands would also end up costing the most money in the long run. To meet the regional water quality boards standards for limiting bacteria, it would cost on balance about $60.4 million a year for the next 65 years.

    Elected officials in San Diego and Orange counties will have a chance to submit their latest proposals to the water quality board later this year. The board will then likely make a determination of how to proceed in early 2018.

    Twitter: @jemersmith

    Phone: (619) 293-2234


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    Cleaning up human waste is cheapest way to improve health of region's beaches, report finds - The San Diego Union-Tribune

    ‘Manual scavenging kills more than terrorism’ – The Sunday Guardian - July 31, 2017 by admin

    Manual scavenging kills more people than terrorism in the country, according to the Safai Karamchari Andolan (SKA), an organisation working for the eradication of manual scavenging.

    According to the SKA, 1,300 manual scavengers died across the country in 2016. In the same time period, 516 civilians were killed in terrorism in India, as per the data of the South Asia Terrorism Portal (SATP), an organisation that helps in critical assessment and analysis of terrorism in South Asia. Recently, the death of two manual scavengers in Delhi has sparked a debate on the state of manual scavenging in the country.

    Though the practice of manual scavenging was banned in 2013 under the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013, the death of two labourers while manually cleaning sewage in the capital is shocking, said Brajesh Kumar, coordinator of the SKA Delhi zone.

    Though multiple laws prohibit manual scavenging and despite the Supreme Courts strict directions, things have not changed and 1,300 people died across the country in 2016 in septic tanks or sewers while doing this job. For cleaning septic tanks or sewers, workers often descend into the tank filled with noxious gases, with no protective gear. Often the worker has to go deep inside the tank to clean it, Kumar said.

    Although the Delhi State Legal Services Authority had identified 233 manual scavengers in the capital in 2013, of whom 104 were government employees, this figure, say experts, is misleading since there is no way to determine the exact number of people working privately in manual scavenging.

    The three Municipal Corporations of Delhi have 2,382 nala beldars, or drain cleaners, on their rolls. Officially, these employees are meant to keep small drains free of silt, but there is nothing that says they cannot be made to clean deeper sewers. The Delhi Jal Board, too, has full-time sewer cleaners. Besides, civic agencies often outsource the dehumanising work to contractors, who find contract labour for such assignments. This allows the agencies to escape culpability in the event of accidents.

    A study by Praxis India, a non-profit Bangalore-based organisation doing research on issues related to urban space, revealed the occupational and health hazards and perils of contracting faced by sewerage workers of Delhi. Praxis Indias study shows that every year, over 100 sewerage workers die in Delhi after entering drains and manholes with high temperature, slippery walls, floors and toxic gases.

    Most sewerage workers, due to lack of medical attention, suffer from several dreaded diseases like cardiovascular degeneration, musculoskeletal disorders, infections, skin problems and respiratory ailments, said Saron Thambola, a member of Praxis India.

    Apart from health hazards, the other issues manual scavengers face are low pay, caste-based discrimination, prejudice, lack of occupational safety and apathy of government agencies, he added.

    Jayanti Majumdar, a Dalit scholar at the Mahatma Gandhi Peace foundation, told The Sunday Guardian: The problem of manual scavenging is also a problem of caste. Only law cant prevent manual scavenging; society has to respond and render support to end this inhuman practice. Contractualisation has worsened the situation of manual scavengers. Political parties should ensure they are not only taking votes in the name of caste, but also working for those castes.

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    'Manual scavenging kills more than terrorism' - The Sunday Guardian

    A-1 Sewer & Septic Service Inc. - July 1, 2017 by admin

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    Indianapolis Septic Systems | Sewer Service | Macs Septic … - July 1, 2017 by admin

    For maintenance and repairs on septic systems throughout Indianapolis, you can rely on Mac's Septic Service for on-time response and excellent support. By having your septic system inspected regularly, you can prevent a financial burden and nuisance from occurring. We recommend pumping out your septic tank every few years in order to enjoy trouble-free performance.

    Mac's Septic Service is available for septic pumping and drain repair emergencies. For your protection, we're licensed, bonded and insured by ISBH, and we service a generous 50-mile radius from Indianapolis. If you have a failing septic tank or broken drainage line, we're prepared to deliver fast emergency response so that you can avoid extensive future repairs.

    We at Mac's Septic Service take a proactive approach and believe that preventative maintenance is always the best course of action. Allow us to provide septic and sewer service on a regular schedule for the health of your system and your peace of mind. Our team has 50 years of experience dealing with obstructed residential sewer pipes and drains that can affect your water and sewage flow.

    At Mac's Septic Service, we protect your lawn. Home and business owners depend on us for low rates, superior client support, and lasting results for their residential or commercial waste management needs. When it concerns fast and efficient septic tank pumping, always remember that with us, "One Call Does It All." To learn more about our septic company or to schedule service in Indianapolis, Brownsburg, Carmel, Noblesville and Zionsville, please contact us at 317-257-7867 today.

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    Plan for sewage treatment plant prompts Stanwood to update rules – The Daily Herald - July 1, 2017 by admin

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    STANWOOD City leaders are updating local rules after a proposal to build a privately operated waste treatment plant in town caused concern late last year.

    Two businessmen from Camano Island submitted an application to build the McDay Septage Receiving Plant and Biosolids Processing Facility. It would treat waste from private septic tanks, and would be located north of Highway 532 off of 84th Avenue NW.

    Many people expressed concerns about the plan, particularly about placing such an operation in the Stillaguamish River floodplain and close to downtown businesses. The applicants said they researched issues such as odor and safety.

    Now, code updates are in the works. Previously, the city code dealt with sewage treatment plants but did not separately discuss septage. For the purposes of the McDay application, the code was interpreted to include septage under the umbrella of sewage. The difference is that sewage comes from a connected sewer system, whereas septage comes from septic tanks. Both contain human waste.

    After a public hearing last week, the Stanwood Planning Commission is recommending that the citys code be updated to prohibit privately owned sewage plants and any septage plants, private or public, said Ryan Larsen, community development director. Only publicly owned sewage treatment plants would be allowed in Stanwood. That recommendation is set to go to the City Council for a vote later this month.

    The changes would impact future applications. They do not retroactively apply to the McDay project, which will be considered under the rules that were in effect at the time the application was received, Larsen said.

    City planners requested additional information from the applicants in late 2016 in order to continue processing their proposal. As of last week, Larsen said the city had not yet received a response. There is no time limit.

    I have not heard from them in months, Larsen said. Theres a whole list of stuff that they needed to do.

    The applicants, James McCafferty and Greg Gilday, did not comment about the proposed changes to city code. They still are pursuing development of the property off 84th, McCafferty said in an email. The goal is to bring jobs to the Stanwood-Camano community, he said.

    Kari Bray: 425-339-3439;

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    Plan for sewage treatment plant prompts Stanwood to update rules - The Daily Herald

    Westwood residents debate water, sewer extension – Valdosta Daily Times - July 1, 2017 by admin

    VALDOSTA Every day Jeremiah Lawton expects something to happen to his septic tank. He doesn't know when, but one day, he worries he is going to wake up and find his toilets overflowing.

    Lawton, president of the Westwood homeowners association, said he would love to see his septic tank replaced with a sewer system. Monday, he, along with other residents of Westwood Estates, met with theLowndes County utilities director and other county officials to discuss how much it would cost for the county to run water and sewer to their neighborhood, just west of Interstate 75.

    Steve Stalvey, utilities director, spoke to the residents of Westwood Estates about including them in the water and sewer system of the county.

    His report estimates a cost of $18,000 per resident and a cost of $1.3 million to the county, which would be paid through SPLOST. To move forward with the project, the county would need a commitment of at least 75 percent of the residents.

    Thomas Lynn | The Valdosta Daily TimesSteve Stalvey, Lowndes County utilities director, speaks to Westwood Estate residents about extending county water and sewer to their homes.

    Essentially, the county would pay to extend their pipes to the neighborhood, while the residents will pay for a sewage pump and installation of everything.

    "It's really a team effort to get this thing up and running," Stalvey said. "Ideally, every resident will commit but that's up to (them) to work out."

    At the meeting, residents were split. Some wanted to pay for county services, while others were perfectly content with their current system.

    Barbara McFarland, a Westwood resident, said she wouldn't mind having county water and sewer but she isn't willing to go into debt to get it.

    "It's just too much money," McFarland said. "I'm disabled and on a fixed income. I can't afford paying $10,000 for something I already have."

    She has had no problem with her well or septic tank, she said.

    But Shirley Garland, a Westwood homeowner, spoke about investing in the neighborhood and increasing home values. She said she was thinking of the future.

    "This is modernization," Garland said. "Just like when we switched to cellphones from landlines."

    Garland said those who don't want to switch won't have to switch, which is partly true.

    Stalvey said anyone with property within 1,000 feet of the water and sewer line of the county would not be allowed a new permit to dig a new well or place a new septic tank.Meaning even if a Westwood resident rejects the proposal and the lines still go in, they will be required to attach to the county line if something happens to their well or septic tank.

    "It's the policy that the board has adopted,"Stalvey said. "They want to limit wells and it's for the protection of the community as a whole."

    At the end of the meeting, most of the residents in attendance left not sold on the cost of joining the county system. This isn't new. The Westwood Estates community has been looking into extending water and sewer for three years now.

    The future of the project depends on what the community agrees to do.

    Thomas Lynn is a government and education reporter for The Valdosta Daily Times. He can be reached at (229)244-3400 ext. 1256

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    Westwood residents debate water, sewer extension - Valdosta Daily Times

    Carlsborg Sewer Project to finish this week – Sequim Gazette - July 1, 2017 by admin

    Paving the pump station by the Olympic Discovery Trail is one of the final projects for the Carlsborg Sewer Project. Physical work began in April 2016 and it will cost more than $9 million to finish. Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash

    After more than a year under construction, the Carlsborg Sewer Project wraps up this week, Clallam County staff report.

    Meggan Uecker, solid waste coordinator for Clallam County, said this week crews with contractor Pacific Civil and Infrastructure will stripe the roads including Carlsborg Road and Business Park Loop, pave the pump station, reroute the Olympic Discovery Trail and pave a portion of Hooker Road south of US Highway 101.

    About 85 sites, Uecker said, can begin connecting to the system starting July 5.

    They have until December to connect to the system, she said, but county staff are available to help people through the process. If residents do not finish their sewer by December, theyll have to renew their application and pay the current connection fee of $1,500.

    Physical work on the $9.22 million project began in April last year and was deemed substantially complete prior to an April 1 deadline this year to obtain a 0.25 percent interest rate on the $10 million state Public Works Trust Fund loan.

    The completion means water can travel through piping from the Carlsborg pump station to the City of Sequim via the Dungeness River Bridge over Highway 101 to a collection system at Grant Road and sent to the City of Sequims Water Reclamation Facility.

    Uecker said they are holding off on saying just how well the project went because county staff are in the assessment process.

    Were excited its done and ready to move into this phase (of completion), she said.

    With the project nearly complete, Uecker said traveling should be easier following the cleanup and a new center turn lane painted along Carlsborg Road.

    With it being unmarked, people were complaining of other folks not knowing where to drive, she said.

    Businesses rebounding

    Late last year, several Carlsborg businesses reported having a hard time with the construction detouring traffic away from the area, leading some to cutback on staff hours and days of operation.

    Lisa Deese, owner of the Old Post Office Sweets &Gifts, 751 Carlsborg Road, said her business has been night and day and really close to not surviving.

    It was so dead during the construction but now Im going to have to kick it into high gear, she said.

    Now that the construction is over, its been amazing. All of my customers are thrilled.

    Val Culp, co-owner of the Old Mill Cafe, 721 Carlsborg Road, previously said they were one of the businesses to cut back on staff hours but theyve gone back to pre-construction operations.

    Its definitely a lot better since the road was finished, she said. Now that its picked up, weve got our regular schedule again.

    Michael Dew, owner/general manager of Pioneer Propane, 931 Carlsborg Road, said in the winter construction made it difficult to get in and out of his business. However, his sales representative Stephanie Segle came up with the idea to introduce a loyalty card where after customers buy 50 gallons of propane in a canister for barbecues/RVs theyll receive five gallons free.

    Dew, who opened Pioneer Propane in 2009, said Segles idea helped his business stay proactive and the idea was a boost for the business.


    Uecker said residents who signed up before March 31 paid $500 to connect to the sewer and those who sign up before April 1, 2019, will pay $1,500. Residents who sign up after that will pay $8,000.

    A lot of sites can still connect and with a change in zoning many properties can sub-divide which may create more hook-ups, she said.

    Carlsborg sewer customers will pay a $26 base rate per residential unit and those with meters will pay $8.66 per 100 cubic feet of water used per month and non-metered customers will pay a flat monthly fee of $78.80 per unit.

    County officials estimate the average sewer bill to be around $70.

    Dew, whose business is right next to the pump station, said he was a supporter of the system early on and signed up when first available.

    It worked for the Romans and it certainly can work for us, he said.

    Culp said she and her husband Larry opted not to connect to the sewer because they spent $40,000 in June 2015 to install new septic tanks at the prompting of the Department of Health.

    I cant see paying the (connection fee) and paying to decommission the tanks, she said.

    Were going to ride it out.

    If the Culps or any homeowners/business owners with functioning septic systems not connected to the sewer system were to sell, thed have to connect within a year. Newly constructed homes also must connect to the system within a year because new septic tanks are not allowed in the Carlsborg Urban Growth Area.

    For more information on the project, contact Uecker at 417-2441 or and/or visit

    Reach Matthew Nash at

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    Carlsborg Sewer Project to finish this week - Sequim Gazette

    BOW acts on Ivy Hills sanitary sewers, additional sewer project – Kokomo Tribune - July 1, 2017 by admin

    KOKOMO The Kokomo Board of Public Works on Wednesday approved multiple projects related to city sewers.

    The two projects one concerning future sanitary sewers in the Ivy Hills subdivision, the other a combined sewer overflow project to be funded through a recently-approved city ordinance are expected to bring relief to subdivision residents and satisfy the citys federal mandates.

    At the meeting, the board approved sanitary sewer easements for nine properties. Currently, Ivy Hills has no sanitary sewers, something the city is hoping to change.

    While the sewer service, or Ivy Hills sewer extension, wont affect flooding in the often rain-soaked area, it will help with the subdivision's quality of life, especially during a flooding event, say city officials.

    Effectively, the sewers will allow people who currently are unable to flush their toilets, run their washer or complete other household tasks during heavy rain to operate as normal in flooding or near-flooding situations if they connect to the sewer.

    As Kokomo city engineer Carey Stranahan explained, the easements are required to install the projects pipe. While most of the sewers are in the right-of-way, there are places where the city will need to go into backyards, he noted.

    Stranahan said that once the city identifies the location of the easements, officials will meet with property owners to obtain them. The city is not being charged for the easements and still has a few left to acquire.

    The project will go out for bids in the next month, said Stranahan, and will begin in late summer. The project will likely take nine months to complete.

    While the project design was started in mid-2013, Stranahan said that obtaining easements has been very challenging, especially across the preserve property.

    It took a tremendous amount of time to work out the details due to the [Indiana Department of Transportation] easement, he continued. INDOT restored that wetland in 2011 and placed an additional conservation easement across the property that we had to work through.

    We didnt get that issue worked out until this spring. Also, there have been several residents who have been difficult to contact.

    In total, 35 percent of Ivy Hills property owners petitioned for the project and will be required to connect to the sewer, said Stranahan, noting that their share will be $6,000 per lot. Those residents will also pay $1,250 for their sewer tap fee and be required to extend their lateral to connect.

    Property owners who didnt sign the petition will not be required to connect unless their septic system fails, he added.

    During Wednesdays meeting, the board also received bids for a noteworthy CSO project.

    Bids for the project came from Indianapolis-based Wilhelm Construction for $3.4 million and Peru-based Boyer Excavating for $2.9 million. The bids were taken under advisement.

    The project should be completed in early 2018 and wont cause any significant issues for residents, as crews will be in alleys and easements, noted Stranahan.

    The purpose of the project, he said, is to reduce the number and volume of combined sewerage that enters Wildcat Creek at that point. In technical terms, Stranahan explained that the project includes placing five control structures in the CSO basin to use the pipe for storage.

    The basin itself extends northeast from Memorial Gym to the Humane Society.

    The pipe is approximately [84 inches] in diameter, so the structures are quite large, said Stranahan. In order for the system to be reliable and low maintenance, we are using special motors and actuators.

    About the cost of the project, Stranahan said, The bids were higher than our estimate, but is still better than the alternative. He added that the city is also looking at value engineering opportunities.

    Notably, the undertaking is a Long-Term Control Plan project the city has been federally-mandated to undertake.

    Such projects will be paid for through measures approved earlier this year by the Kokomo Common Council. The council approved in April roughly $23 million in bonds for local sewage projects, an action that will be funded in part by wastewater fee increases approved by the city late last year.

    The ordinance, which was approved by the council on first and second reading, continues the citys federally-mandated long-term control plans for sewage and flood mitigation. Included are CSO-related projects.

    In December, the council approved an ordinance that increased wastewater and stormwater utility costs for residential and commercial properties in the city.

    The measure amounts to a 9.7 percent increase, or $3.67 per month for the average customer utilizing 6,000 gallons, a total Kokomo Common Council Vice President Mike Kennedy called a "tremendous amount" for residential users.

    At the time, Mayor Greg Goodnight said the reason for the raise was to help the city pay for the CSO projects. In the remaining 10 years of a 20-year long-term control plan, the city has $27.7 million in costs related to CSO projects. Cash on hand will also be utilized by the city for the projects.

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    BOW acts on Ivy Hills sanitary sewers, additional sewer project - Kokomo Tribune

    Sump pump, line inspections will be mandatory before home sales in Duluth – West Central Tribune - July 1, 2017 by admin

    Local governments also will need to make sure the property's lateral line the sewer pipe that leads from the house to the street isn't letting clean water leak into the sewer system.

    Both requirements are part of a new ordinance expected to pass the WLSSD board at their regular monthly meeting Monday, June 26.

    City officials, Realtors and home sellers can relax for the time being, however. WLSSD wants cities and townships have those new rules on the books by Feb. 15, 2019, and enforced by Feb.15, 2020. (Earlier drafts called for the ordinance to take effect as early as next year.)

    Still, the new rule is coming, and cities and townships will have to ramp up their inspection services at a cost to home sellers and/or taxpayers. With big downstream fixes in place, the WLSSD says now the best way to keep clean water out is upstream, at the start of the collection system, where homes and businesses send their sewage into pipes that flow down each street.

    Specifically, WLSSD is requiring cities and townships in its service area to pass their own ordinances requiring the owners of homes or other buildings connected to the sewer system obtain a certificate, before selling that property, that shows the sump pump is not contributing clean water to the sewage system.

    If the system is dumping water into the sewer, the home would have to be disconnected within 120 days of the title transfer. The fix can either be part of the sale price or, if it doesn't happen within 120 days, the municipality can assess a fee or surcharge on the property's tax bill.

    Either way, homes needing disconnects will pay.

    Duluth halfway there

    The so-called point of sale rule for sump pump/foundation drain disconnects from the sewage system has been required in Duluth since 2011. But it will be a new requirement for all home and building sellers outside the city whose homes send wastewater to the WLSSD plant in Lincoln Park.

    The WLSSD area includes Duluth, Proctor, Hermantown, Wrenshall, Rice Lake, Carlton, Scanlon, Cloquet, the Village of Oliver in Wisconsin, Midway, Thomson and Twin Lakes townships in Minnesota, as well as areas served by the Pike Lake and Larsmont sewage districts.

    "The district has been good about backing off on their timeline to help their customers," said Caleb Peterson, Cloquet's director of Public Works. "But these are big changes coming down the line that are going to cost money. We realize it's going to be more work. ... But we also realize there's still an issue with inflow and infiltration we have to get to."

    Eric Shaffer, Duluth's chief engineer for utilities, said the city's current program of inspecting sump pump and storm drain disconnects before home sales "should meet the (new) WLSSD requirement." Already "if you sell your home today in the city, it will need a foundation drain/sump pump inspection."

    It will be up to each municipality to decide how to handle the lateral line issue. Small municipalities with fewer home sales may decide to require lateral inspections at the time of sales, just like the sump pump/foundation drain inspection. But larger cities, especially Duluth, probably will comply with the new WLSSD ordinance by ramping up lateral line inspection programs where the city inspects entire neighborhoods for lateral line leakage.

    "We are trying to be as flexible as possible and still reach the goal of reducing those peak flows," said Karen Anderson, WLSSD spokeswoman.

    Duluth could never afford to inspect lateral lines for the roughly 1,200 buildings sold each year, city officials noted. The most the city ever accomplished was 275 in one year.

    Shaffer said Duluth will have to ramp up lateral line inspections across the entire city, reaching more than 100 homes annually, to satisfy the WLSSD ordinance. The city can do the work using remote-controlled cameras that snake through the sewage system, from a manhole in the street to residents' homes. On rainy days, crews can easily see which lateral lines are allowing water to pour in.

    At that point, the city can require homeowners to stop the lateral line leaks, which can cost upwards of $5,000 to either dig up and replace or re-line leaky pipes. In past years, the city offered grants of up to $4,000. But there's currently no money in the city budget to continue those grants. That would be up to the mayor and city council to decide. If the city agreed with WLSSD to fix 100 leaky lateral lines annually, for example, that would be a $400,000 cost to the city.

    Over the past decade, Duluth, WLSSD and other municipalities in the area have spent millions of dollars to try to solve the problem of clean rainwater and snowmelt entering and overwhelming the sewage system. That overload caused overflows of untreated sewage into local streams and Lake Superior.

    Expensive fix, but overflows have mostly ended

    WLSSD and cities have expanded pipelines, added new pumps and built giant storage basins to hold the extra water that enters the system during heavy rains or spring thaws. The last big overflow tank, above the Lakewalk near Endion Station, was completed in early 2012. It cost $20 million and holds 8.2 million gallons.

    All told, the city has put more than $126 million into the effort, and WLSSD has spent another $40 million, with local taxes and state and federal grants helping foot the bill. Those numbers are for major capital expenses and don't count the city's contribution to sump pump installations in homes.

    To a large extent, the effort has worked well. The only major sewage overflow into local waters in recent years was during the June 2012 flood, a 1-in-500-years event.

    Still, millions of gallons of clean water are getting into the system after every rain. Anderson said peak flows during heavy rainfall and snowmelt events can reach eight times the dry-weather flow of wastewater to the plant, and overflows could still occur.

    City officials said they had some overflows on their end of the system during a rain event on frozen ground in March 2016, with the water coming from private homes and other buildings, not leaky city pipes or manholes.

    The ordinance being voted on Monday is not the first local rule requiring sewage inspection before building sales.

    St. Louis County has had rules on the books for decades requiring septic system inspections at the time of rural home sales, but the rule was rarely enforced because of the high cost of new septic systems. In 2014, the county moved to require sellers of homes with uninspected septic systems to set up an escrow account to pay for a new system if it's not working properly to treat sewage, a potential pollution problem for nearby waterways or wells. The escrow essentially applies to any home sales where the septic system hasn't been tested or replaced in the past 10 years. In reality, escrows will be used only in winter, when the ground is frozen and septic tests can't be done before the sale.

    Read more:
    Sump pump, line inspections will be mandatory before home sales in Duluth - West Central Tribune

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