By KEVIN NEVERS
The second round of bids for Phase I of the Chesterton Utility’s federally
mandated long term control plan (LTCP) will be opened at a special meeting
at 6:30 p.m. June 3, after the first round was rejected as too high.
Too high by a country mile.
On Monday, Mark Nye of DLZ, the LTCP’s contracted engineer, told the Utility
Service Board that the specs for the three components of Phase I have been
tweaked enough to remove an estimated $2.6 million of work from this part of
the LTCP and that he’s hopeful the new round of bids will be vastly more
“We’re seeing a lot more interest (among bidders) and we’ve been on the
phone drumming up more interest,” Nye said.
“With any luck, maybe the bids will come in better,” President Larry Brandt
The budget for Phase I of the LTCP: $2.723 million. The lowest aggregate bid
from the first round: $5,551,952, or a little more than double the budget.
Phase 1A includes improvements at the wastewater treatment plant; Phase IB,
the rehabilitation and re-lining of five manholes serving two sanitary sewer
lines; and Phase IC, the acquisition of a permanent emergency generator at
the Westwood Manor lift station.
The LTCP is a mandate of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,
administered by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, the
whole point of which is to significantly reduce the amount of sewage which
the Utility is forced to release into the Little Cal River during heavy
Those sewage releases are more technically known as combined sewage
overflows and they’re caused by unseparated sanitary and stormwater systems,
or else by the infiltration of a sanitary system. During very wet weather,
the amount of stormwater which finds its way into the town’s sanitary system
can sometimes threaten to swamp the wastewater treatment plant, forcing
The LTCP is designed to reduce, if not altogether to eliminate, the need for
bypasses, with the construction of the 1.2-million gallon storage tankÑthe
lynch pin of the planÑinto which the plant’s main lift
station will pump the stomwater-diluted wastewater 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 treatment.
The total estimated cost of the plan: $14.9 million. The Utility Service
Board expects to close on a low-interest loan from the State Revolving Fund
early this summer.
Indian Boundary Conservancy District
Just how much stress heavy rain events can put on the wastewater treatment
plant was evident last month, the wettest by far of the year, when 6.02
inches of precipitation were recorded.
Although the plant used only 46.28 percent of its capacity in March, in
April with all that rain it used fully 57.33 percent of its capacity,
indicating that unseparated stormwater and sanitary sewers and infiltration
are allowing a great deal of runoff to enter the system.
And perhaps there are other factors at work as well, Member Scot McCord
suggested, in noting that one of the Utility’s customers, the Indian
Boundary Conservancy District (IBCD), used 97.86 percent of its 81,000
gallon per day (gpd) allotment in April, compared to only 75.89 percent in
The ICBD “has some issues,” McCord noted. “They have to have some sumps
hooked up or something to have this. It’s something we need to stay on top
Brandt concurred, and noted that the Utility has been working to engage the
IBCD for some time in a new agreement which would provide for penalties when
the IBCD exceeds its gpd allotment. “Somewhere along the line we’ve got to
bring this to a head,” Brandt said.
“They need to bring their agreement up to date,” Member Jim Raffin added.
Chesterton, for its part, used 55.27 percent of its 3,668,000 gpd allotment
in April; Porter, 62.34 percent of its 851,000 gpd allotment.
Even given the heavy rain, however, there were no bypasses recorded in