Chesterton Tribune

Utility and IAWC to go after folks who disconnect water service to use wells

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By KEVIN NEVERS

“It shall be unlawful to install a well, whether driven, drilled, or jetted, for the purpose of supplying potable water to any residence, commercial, or industrial building, which building or structure is located within 100 feet of any town-owned and maintained sanitary sewer public or public water main.”

So reads Sec. 25-158 of the Chesterton Town Code.

It’s an old ordinance and dates from the days when the town owned its own municipal water company. But as Utility Service Board Member Scot McCord noted at the Service Board’s meeting Monday night, the ordinance remains in effect.

As two property owners in town are about to discover.

Turns out, Indiana American Water Company (IAWC) has learned that the two—one in the 100 block of Grant Ave., the other in the 500 block of Wabash Ave.—have “either disconnected or stopped using the water service from Indiana American Water and begun or returned to using their wells for potable water.”

IAWC so advised the Service Board, which in turn instructed Superintendent Rob Lovell on Monday to send both property owners a notice of non-compliance, which gives them 10 days to rectify the matter.

Of some concern to the Service Board, however: will IAWC share the cost of any legal proceeding, should the matter come to that? Lovell said that he’s making inquiries.

“Legally is there any way to stick (the two property owners) with the legal bills, if it gets to that point?” Member Andy Michel wondered.

Stay tuned.

The 48-inch Line

In other business, Lovell reported on the clean-out of the giant 48-inch main along Eighth Street, flowing north from West Porter Ave. en route to the wastewater treatment plant.

The project is done for now, Lovell said, but he’s hopeful of budgeting funds over the next couple of years to complete the clean-out all the way to the plant.

How much debris did the bucket system remove from the line along the block-long stretch between West Porter Ave. and Lincoln Ave.: 317 buckets, enough to fill seven dump trucks.

They pulled bricks from the line, Lovell said, and clay tiles, and rocks, and asphalt.

They also found a 1950s-era rubber Davy Crockett knife down there. And yeah, they did: one very much like it was going for around $20 on eBay.

The good news is that, north of Lincoln Ave., the amount of debris begins to lessen, until at West Morgan Ave. there’s only about an inch of it.

Main Re-location

Meanwhile, the Service Board voted 5-0 to approve the cutting of a manual check, in the amount of $75,250, to Woodruff & Sons of Michigan City, for the re-location of a sanitary main which had been fixed to the bridge over Coffee Creek along 1100N.

The main had to be re-located—actually, it now runs under Coffee Creek—because the Porter County Highway Department is preparing to replace the bridge.

Member John Schnadenberg did note that Woodruff & Sons came slightly under budget for the project. The original quoted price: $76,800.

Open Position

Lovell also reported that a short list of five has been narrowed down from the 50 or so applicants for an open position at the Utility.

Interviews will be scheduled for this week and next week, Lovell said.

June in Review

In June, Chesterton used 40.57 percent of its 3,688,000 gallon per day (gpd) allotment at the wastewater treatment plant; Porter, 44.68 percent of its 851,000 gpd allotment; the Indian Boundary Conservancy District, 51.35 percent of its 81,000 gpd allotment; and the plant as a whole, 41.22 percent of its capacity.

There were no bypasses last month, which saw 2.24 inches of precipitation.

In June the Utility ran a deficit of $205,839.31 and in the year-to-date is running a deficit of $95,180.85.

 

Posted 7/17/2012