WARSAW — At its last public meeting of 2018, Wednesday, Dec. 19, Lakeland Regional Sewer District board of trustees agreed to more strictly adhere to its billing ordinance when applying late charges in 2019. The board also dealt with infrastructure issues, including how to mitigate odors associated with sewage.
According to Jim Haney, board president, Jones Petrie Rafinski, the firm overseeing LRSD billing, has been granting a “grace period,” not applying late payment fees promptly at the beginning of each month; however, according to Ordinance 2017-03, located in the “Resources” category of the LRSD web site, “The time at which monthly charges are to be paid is now fixed as the last day of each calendar month.” Additionally, “Payment is considered made when it is received by the District at its office.”
“We have got to be consistent,” Haney stated.
If the last day of the month falls on a weekend or holiday, the payment must be received by the next business day. A late fee, 10 percent of the bill, will be applied on the first business day of each month.
The board also took preliminary steps to control odors around lift stations in the district. Lift station 1, located on CR 600E near McKenna Road, has been the subject of several odor complaints, according to Matt Rippey, Astbury area manager, due to its being located in a low area near residences, unlike stations 2 and 3.
LRSD currently spends roughly $13,000 per year for hydrogen peroxide, which is fed into the stations to cut down odors. Rippey recommended two possible fixes: Installing a bulk tank for increased hydrogen peroxide usage where it is needed, and the addition of a forced air feed system using activated carbon, which would eliminate the need for chemicals.
The initial cost of one activated carbon feeder was estimated at $10,200, with an additional $300 for periodic carbon changes.
Currently, LRSD budgets for hydrogen peroxide only, though Astbury uses carbon feeders in other districts. Haney asked to see analysis of both odor eliminating methods at the January meeting.
Rippey also informed the board of an air leak discovered in the treatment plant aeration system. The leak was caused by a corroded tightening bolt, the only part on a clamp — used on rubber couplings — not made of stainless steel. Further inspection also found the corrosion on three clamps in the plant’s clarifier.
While the parts themselves are inexpensive, the maintenance requires stopping the flow of 145,000 gallons of water, said Rippey. As it happens, work on a bypass valve at the plant, contracted to Haskins Underground, was scheduled for completion by the end of December 2018 but has been held up by unfinished shop drawings, which may also provide an opportunity to replace the clamps.
According to Rippey, all of the work needs to be completed by April 2019, when Astbury begins disinfecting in the treatment plant. Haney asked Casey Irwin of DLZ Engineering to follow up on the shop drawings for the January meeting.
As of Dec. 19, 29 non-connections remain in LRSD. Certified letters were sent to all of the properties, with five returned as non-deliverable.
The board approved its meeting schedule for 2019. Monthly public meetings will continue to be held at 6 p.m. the third Wednesday of every month, except November and December, which will be held at 6 p.m. the second Wednesday, so as not to conflict with Thanksgiving and Christmas.
At its next meeting, Jan. 16, the board will elect officers for 2019.
For more information on the Lakeland Regional Sewer District, go to lakelandrsd.com/.