Back in August, angry neighbors filled the meeting room for the Clay Township Regional Waste District.
They spoke passionately against a plan to construct sewage tanks to store waste water runoff during heavy rains on the property of a Carmel church near their neighborhood.
And they won. The tanks weren’t built.
But the problem remains. When it rains heavily, sewage can overflow onto people’s lawns – not something most people want.
The CTRWD is still looking at finding a solution and will present a few options at its December meeting.
“We still have to do something,” said Drew Williams, utility director for the CTRWD.
The district is working with engineering consultants to evaluate to update the master plan which it will present to a committee on Dec. 1 and the full CTRWD board on Dec. 8. This report will include a recommendation of all the capital projects proposed for the next five years.
Williams said many options have been considered. The district looked at other real estate options to build sewage tanks, but that didn’t gain much traction.
But the biggest solution is a plan to reduce inflow by fixing leaks throughout the area.
“We know there are leaks somewhere in the system,” Williams said. “We know the area’s manholes can go underwater when that creek floods.”
At its October meeting, the CTRWD approved a Manhole Rehabilitation contract with Culy Contracting for $88,925 to seal around 40 manholes along Carmel Creek. When the manholes are submerged when the creek rises during rain, then storm water can get into the sanitary sewer. If CTRWD can fix the leaks, then maybe the problem won’t be as severe, Williams said.
“When it rains hard we’ve seen it get up to a flow rate of about 10 million gallons,” he said. “So there has to be some leaks somewhere so it’s a matter of finding those leaks and plugging them to reduce the wet weather incidents. If we could reduce about by four million gallons then we can actually avoid having to build storage tanks. We’ve trying to find it but we couldn’t come up with it. That’s why we went with the storage tank option instead of trying to continue to find the leaks in the line.”
CTRWD also met with Carmel Utilities to discuss the cost of additional capacity at the Carmel Waste Water Treatment Plant. Williams said they are waiting on cost estimates and expects Carmel Utilities to also send over a plan for acquiring Drainage Basin 1. He said he expects to receive Carmel’s plan at the end of November or early December so there’s time to discuss it before the December meeting.