Chesterton Tribune



Treatment plant passes surprise IDEM inspection

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The Indiana Department of Environmental Management conducted a surprise inspection last week of the Chesterton wastewater treatment plant.

The upshot: all aspects of the plant, including the lab, passed with flying colors.

So the Utility Service Board learned at its meeting Tuesday night. “Everything was satisfactory, absolutely no violations?” President Larry Brandt pressed Superintendent Dave Ryan.

“That’s correct,” Ryan replied.

“On a surprise inspection the plant and lab did an excellent job,” Brandt declared. “So congratulations to the entire team. That’s a good start to the New Year.”

Re: Damon Run

In other business, Ryan reported that “time continues to be spent with lawyers and engineers,” in the matter of the Utility’s “territorial issue” with Valparaiso City Utilities, which last year purchased the Damon Run Conservancy District’s sanitary sewer infrastructure. As part of that acquisition, the Valparaiso City Council declared by ordinance a sanitary sewer territory extending 10 miles outside the city’s corporate limits and claiming the exclusive right to provide service to all areas in that territory not currently located inside an incorporated municipality.

The problem: that 10-mile territory extends well inside the Chesterton Utility’s own territory declared by ordinance in 2014.

Ryan told the Service Board that the Utility formally filed a “rebuttal to Valpo’s case” before the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission on Feb. 11.

January in Review

In January, Chesterton used 67.69 percent of its 3,668,000 gallon per day (gpd) allotment of the wastewater treatment plant; Porter, 58.95 percent of its 851,000 gpd allotment; the Indian Boundary Conservancy District, 85.87 percent of its 81,000 gpd allotment; and the plant as a whole, 66.39 percent of its capacity.

There were no overflows of wastewater last month into the Little Calumet River, but it was a wet January, with a total of 3.7 inches of rain recorded at the wastewater plant. Brandt, for his part, expressed some surprise at Chesterton’s 68-percent usage of its allotment, inasmuch as the town typically uses only about half of that allotment.

“Unfortunately, we had a lot of infiltration,” Ryan said.

Also in January, the Utility ran a surplus of $323,159.36.


Posted 2/19/2020




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