Star City Sewer District concerns overflowing
Signs of rainfall being pumped into the Star City Sewer District system have board members concerned with the potential increase of costs.
Because the system is pumped to the Winamac wastewater treatment plant, board members are looking at a rise in treatment costs because of the large amounts of waste flowing through the town system.
Andy Zehner, of Zehner Excavating which is contracted with the sewer district to service the system, questioned what he can do if he finds that sump pumps are connected to the system.
“If it was a vacuum line broke or something I would have been called out. I didn’t get called out because it never got low,” Zehner said.
The system is closed and sealed so rainwater cannot randomly enter it. Catch basins and eaves of houses are most likely not tied into the system and shouldn’t be according to the district ordinance. Sump pumps are also prohibited from being tied into the system.
Waylon Burke, who is a district board member and works for the Town of Winamac, said the average flow that comes from the sewer district to the Winamac wastewater treatment plant is about 12,000 - 14,000 gallons a day. Today, there was about 24,000 gallons and on Friday it was about 40,000 gallons.
According to the district ordinance, an inspector contracted with the district can look at the various pits and if a violation is found fines up to $2,500 per day can apply until it is fixed.
It was suggested that a letter be sent to the customers of the district stating that inspections will be made and a fine can be applied. The district will also be monitoring the flow meters to see where an increase of sewage is coming from.
The district will continue to work with the town attorney to decide what steps they should follow next.
District members Pat Heisner and Mary Craig were also present at the meeting.
In other business:
• The treasurer’s report for the month of June was read. Craig said accounts payable totaled $5,158.78. The starting balance for the month of June was $132,379.19 with an ending balance of $131,061.77. The report was approved.
• Accountant Sue Peppers said there is about $39,000 in the rears with about $30,000 of it in liens. Craig said the district recently received $5,000 in liens. There are eight to 10 properties that are eligible to have liens applied to.
• Less than a handful of people attended the board meeting because of the drainage situation in the Star City area. Heisner said commissioner Terry Young was invited but was unable to attend. She said it appears that the county has applied for a grant to fix the tiles and the drainage issues. Two community members said the drainage problem has been happening for years and hasn’t been fixed. Heisner said the commissioners are aware that there are a few tiles that are not functioning properly.)