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
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.
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
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
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