WARSAW — Lakeland Regional Sewer District Board of Trustees held its monthly public meeting August 21. Among the items discussed was an August 15 lift station control failure along CR 600 East, resulting in a spill of approximately 6,500 gallons of sewage.
According to Mike Rippey, LRSD treatment plant manager, both an ultrasonic level probe controller and a backup float system failed. Plant employees had already noticed erratic readings from the probe controller and ordered a new one on August 9. However, a “mat of debris” formed from rising gas bubbles likely prevented the backup float system from triggering the overflow alarm. Rippey went on to report some of the overflow did reach a nearby stream.
Within an hour of the spill being reported by a local resident, workers arrived to treat the area. A spill report was also issued to the Indiana Department of Environmental Management. According to Rippey, local residents’ service was not impacted.
To prevent such control failures in the future, spare ultrasonic sensors will be available. As Jim Haney, board president, commented, “A backup sensor should’ve been on the shelf.”
Additionally, stainless steel chains were ordered to prevent obstructions from inhibiting the backup float sensors. The board approved the purchase of backup items at a cost of $1,500.
A carbon filter system has been installed in Lift Station 1 in response to residents’ odor complaints, reported Rippey. The $2,300 system has the added benefit of paying for itself over the next three years as it replaces a hydrogen peroxide system costing the district $6,600 per year in chemicals. The two remaining lift stations will also be changed over.
A truck delivering beach sand caused damage to a grinder pump at 51 Ems B714. The district will have to perform the work itself due to the lack of capable local contractors. “It will happen again and we need to know how to do it,” said board member Bob Marcuccilli. Crane Barnes, the manufacturer, will provide instructions to Asbury employees. The board will also be sending a letter to the owner of the grinder pit, informing them of an impending bill.
LRSD also experienced damage to a force main pipe resulting from the installation of a power line pole by REMC. REMC’s locate company was unable to identify the pipe. A claim will be made against the company after the invoice for repair is received.
The board also heard a report from Bill Doyle, DLZ Engineering, regarding a noise complaint resulting from the blower building at the LRSD water treatment plant. Neither Doyle nor Haney were able to hear noise at a distance from the plant; however, the board agreed decibel meters should be used to get readings before deciding whether or not to proceed with potentially expensive sound-proofing options. If the meters do not find actionable levels, Haney commented, “I’d be hard-pressed to spend the money.” The plant has received complaints from one nearby residence.
LRSD members voted to authorize its website committee to spend up to $6,000 on a new website for the district.
Haney commented the transition of billing and collections to Astbury Water Technologies has gone “extremely well.” He reported receiving positive comments about new online opportunities to make payments and view accounts.
Astbury’s Gary Cooper informed the board the number of people using e-billing has “doubled” from 270 to 460.
LRSD manager Greg Gear also reported the number of unconnected properties has fallen to 15. The majority of those are abandoned with mortgage companies making lien payments.