Crown Point gets more funding to improve sewer system
By Carrie Napoleon Post-Tribune correspondent July 10, 2012 1:44PM
CROWN POINT — Funding for a second phase of work planned to remediate storm water infiltration into the city’s sewer system has been approved.
Last week officials authorized applying for $1.5 million in state revolving fund low-interest loans to repair or replace 279 manholes and 7,500 feet of sewer line in an effort to comply with an Indiana Department of Environmental Management unfunded mandate to stop sewer overflow situations by 2018.
“There will be no increase to the current sewer rates,” Mayor David Uran said of the current phase of work deemed necessary after the city smoke-tested the entire sewer system to identify potential problems last summer.
The storm water separation was mandated in August 2007 by IDEM. Initial overall cost of the separation was expected to be about $36 million.
However, city officials have been working with Commonwealth Engineering since 2007 to identify problems and make improvements to the city’s sewer system to decrease infiltration and reduce the city’s exposure to cost.
So far those efforts have been successful.
City Attorney David Nicholls said to date the city has had two amendments to the order that have been approved by the courts and ultimately will reduce the overall cost of the mandate to the city.
“We’ve had two amendments approved by the court reflecting our continued cooperation under their unfunded mandate,” Nicholls said.
Last summer officials spent about $1 million on improvements to the lift stations and pumps, streamlining the bypasses at the sewer treatment plant.
It was at that time the problems with the manholes and sewer lines were identified.
Tris Miles, city engineer, said the manhole and sewer line work will occur throughout the city but is predominately needed in the older areas.
“It’s many different neighborhoods,” Miles said.
By reducing the amount of storm water entering the sanitary system the city will be in compliance with the judicial decree and ultimately will reduce the size of a needed future wastewater treatment plant, Miles said.