Chesterton Tribune



New combined sewers banned in Chesterton

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It’s unlikely anyone would want to. Combined sanitary and stormwater sewers are definitely old-school and frowned upon.

But should someone ever get it into his head actually to construct a combined sewer in Chesterton--or else to extend an existing one--he’s got another thing coming.

At its meeting Monday night, the Town Council voted 4-0 to pass on first reading an ordinance which prohibits both the building of new combined sewers and the extending of old ones, 4-0 to suspend the rules, then 4-0 to pass the ordinance on final reading. Member Emerson DeLaney, R-5th, was not in attendance.

Combined sanitary and stormwater sewers, installed years and years ago, are the reason why, during heavy rains, the Chesterton utility’s wastewater treatment plant is often forced to dump raw sewage into the Little Calumet River: because the plant is unable to cope with the sheer volume of runoff which flows into the plant along with wastewater.

The new ordinance does three things: first, it prohibits the construction of any new combined sewers and the extension of existing ones; second, it requires all new storm-sewer connections to existing combined sewers to be made separate and apart from sanitary-sewer connections, so as to make it easier to disconnect the storm-sewer should a separate storm sewer one day become available; and third, it authorizes the town to require the owner of any storm-sewer connection to disconnect it from a combined sewer and re-connect it to a separate sewer--should a separate sewer become available--within 90 days of being notified.

The ordinance came to the council unanimously endorsed by both the Stormwater Management Board and the Utility Service Board. Adoption of such an ordinance is a condition for the renewal of the Utility’s five-year National Pollution Discharge Elimination Permit,

Assistant Fire Chief’s Vehicle

In other business, members voted 4-0 to approve the acquisition of a new vehicle to be used by the Fire Department’s assistant chief: a 2015 Dodge Durango from Connors Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram in Chesterton, at a cost of $28,464.

Fire Chief John Jarka recommended the outright purchase of the Durango, as opposed to a lease-purchase contract, after being assured by Clerk-Treasurer Stephanie Kuziela that sufficient funds are available in Cumulative Capital Development, a fund with a dedicated property-tax rate used exclusively for the acquisition of emergency vehicles.

The Durango will replace the 2003 Chevrolet Suburban currently used by the CFD assistant chief, after it was removed from emergency response due to corrosion in the brake, fuel, and transmission lines.

Water Tower Lease

Meanwhile, members also voted 4-0 to approve a lease agreement between the Utility and Indiana-American Water Company (IAWC), under which the Utility would pay IAWC $100 per month for the use of the water tower immediately east of the CFD station.

The Utility plans to erect a six-foot antenna at the top of the water tower, to be used to communicate remotely with a number of high-priority lift stations in town, including the new one south of the Indiana Toll Road serving the Ind. 49 corridor, as well as the Dickinson Road, KAT, Westwood Manor, and Grant Ave. stations.

Town Engineer Mark O’Dell said that the Utility’s SCADA system should be able both to remote-operate and remote-monitor those lift stations, thanks to the IAWC lease agreement and antenna.



Posted 11/26/2014




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