Chesterton Tribune



Unincorporated Liberty Township property owners seek sewer service from town

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The Chesterton Utility Service Board is interested in pursuing--if feasible--the extension of sanitary sewer service to a pair of property owners in unincorporated Liberty Township.

By unanimous votes at their meeting Monday night, members instructed Superintendent Dave Ryan and Town Engineer Mark O’Dell to review both proposed tie-ins.

The first petition was filed by Alex Curiel, who’s purchased a parcel on the north side of C.R. 1050 about a quarter of a mile west of Meridian Road. Curiel expects to break ground on a new home late this spring or early this summer and is hopeful of tapping onto a force main in the area.

President Larry Brandt was encouraging but undertook to make no promises. “Absolutely, we’d love to be your provider of sewer service,” he said, but then noted that there would be “some challenges.”

At issue, as Member Andy Michel explained: the matter of precedent. “Maybe one does it but what happens if other parcels get developed down the line?”

Member John Schnadenberg concurred. “One person’s no big deal,” he said. “But then suddenly we’re talking about multiple tie-ins.”

Also complicating matters, Ryan said, is the question of annexation. Curiel’s parcel lacks the statutory 1/8 contiguity to Chesterton’s corporate limits necessary for annexation, and the Service Board in the past has been hesitant to provide tie-ins to owners of unannexable property.

In any case, members referred the matter to Ryan and O’Dell. “I’m hopeful Dave and Mark will be able to come up with a solution,” Brandt said.

The second petition was filed by Jill Chitwood, who would like to sell her late father’s home at 1050N 50E. The property’s septic system has failed, however, and there isn’t room on the site to build a new one, Chitwood told members.

In this case the technical solution is a fairly easy one. It could, though, prove “very expensive” to Chitwood, Michel suggested, as the nearest sewer main is located something like 600 feet to the north, up 50E.

Contiguity is not an issue in this case, though, and Chitwood said that she would file an annexation petition with the Town Council.

Once again, the Service Board referred the matter to Ryan and O’Dell. “If you can work out the details, we would love to do a tie-in,” Michael said.

Storage Basin Works As Designed

in other business, Ryan reported that, in his judgment, every single one of the 616,000 gallons of stormwater-diluted sewage diverted into the wastewater treatment plant’s storage basin during the spectacular rain event on Feb. 28-March 1 would have been bypassed into the Little Calumet River, had not the basin been up and running.

The 1.2-million gallon basin was constructed as part of the federally mandated Long Term Control Plan to reduce sewage bypasses.

Fully 2.59 inches of rain fell in the 24 hours before 8 a.m. Feb. 28 and 8 a.m. March 1. But the bulk of it fell in only six hours, in the early evening into the early morning.

The rain event “required extra operator attention to maximize the plant through-put in order to minimize the chances of a (combined sewer overflow),” Ryan noted. “The basin filled to 10.8 feet, equating to approximately 616,000 gallons. Kudos to the plant staff for their dedicated efforts.”

February in Review

In February, Chesterton used 47.97 percent of its 3,668,000 gallon per day (gpd) allotment of the wastewater treatment plant; Porter, 56.46 percent of its 851,000 gpd allotment; the Indian Boundary Conservancy District, 62.74 percent of its 81,0-00 gpd allotment; and the plant as a whole, 49.8 percent of its capacity.

A total of 2.42 inches of precipitation was recorded last month at the wastewater treatment plant. There were no combined sewer bypasses in the Little Calumet River.

In February, the Utility ran a deficit of $300,332.38 and in the year-to-date is running a deficit of $76,241.64.


Posted 3/22/2017




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