CLEARFIELD – Ongoing concerns regarding the Hyde Sanitary Sewer were discussed at Monday’s Clearfield Municipal Authority Meeting.
Engineer Jim Balliet reported there were no SSO discharge events since the April meeting.
On April 26, there was a meeting with the state Department of Environmental Protection where long-term plans were discussed, and then a meeting between representatives of Lawrence Township, Clearfield Borough and CMA as well as DEP was held May 3.
Balliet said they asked the township what their plans were, and at the most recent township meeting May 15, the supervisors indicated they planned to continue with what they have been doing to correct the inflow and infiltration of extraneous water into the sanitary sewer system.
There are just over 50 houses that need further inspection and the township’s plan is to wait until the next major rain event and, instead of televising the laterals, they will look into the observation ports. If clear water is seen running through the lateral, the homeowner will receive a letter.
Balliet said he does not feel this is any different than what they have been doing and he has recommended aggressive pressure testing, which the township has rejected. He recommended a letter from CMA acknowledging the township’s decision and expressing their concerns.
CMA and the township have until Sept. 1 to close the SSO. Balliet said the maximum fine from DEP for each day the SSO is opened after Sept. 1 is $10,000 per day and DEP has indicated they will levy the maximum fine on the township.
For example, between February and March, the SSO was opened five times for a total of 20 days. If that would happen after Sept. 1, the township would face a fine of $200,000. After Sept. 1, the issue falls under the clean-stream laws.
Chairman Russ Triponey said he doesn’t believe the plan is enough or that the township fully comprehends the gravity of the situation.
He said he read where Williamsport was fined over $300,000 by DEP simply because DEP did not think they were moving quickly enough to correct their problems.
Balliet agreed, adding that DEP warned the township that such a fine was possible.
Triponey added that at least four times the DEP representative at the meeting said there would no extension for the township, and the Sept. 1 deadline is a hard and fast deadline. The DEP representative added that from their point of view there has been no change.
Balliet additionally recommended CMA should submit a plan to DEP showing how CMA will close the SSO once the situation is corrected and have it approved as soon as possible to assure DEP that CMA is doing its part.
Additionally, the borough sent a letter to CMA stating the borough has chosen to be proactive when it comes to the Combined Sewer Overflow near Buck’s Pizza.
The borough has hired someone devoted to inspecting every house in the borough to ensure there is no inflow and infiltration and to correct any problems found.
Borough Manager Leslie Stott attended the meeting and said, “We assure you the borough is not taking a cavalier attitude.”
In other business, the board agreed with Manager John Williams’ plan to purchase a new air conditioning/heating unit for the lab at the Moose Creek water treatment plant.
The unit currently in use quit working and the company, Sanyo, has been bought out twice and parts are nearly impossible to come by.
It is important to have the temperature in the lab controlled. A Mitsubishi unit was recommended at a cost of $5,454.
Balliet also reported that the Susquehanna River Basin Commission has requested proof that the Moose Creek well is not negatively impacting wetlands within the watershed. In 2002-03, CMA delineated about 17 wetlands and they need to determine the status of those wetlands for SRBC.