MAN, W.Va. — Members of the Man Town Council heard from Jonathan Carpenter, a representative from the Thrasher Group, an engineering firm from Charleston, W.Va., about the town’s infiltration problem which has led to some dramatic sewage treatment bills from the Buffalo Creek Public Service District.
For years the town has had a problem with rainwater making its way into the sewage collection lines, where it runs through meters — leaving the town to pay massive wastewater treatment bills. Last month the town agreed to contract the services of an engineering firm to look into a possible fix to the long standing problem.
Carpenter said his agency would work with Water Dept. Manager Dwayne Mounts in identifying the problematic areas and coming up with a potential solution, as well as looking for possible grant funding to help pay for it.
“I wanted to point out a couple of things,” Carpenter said, explaining the scope of the project and how payment could be billed hourly, and how the town could make payments on that bill. Carpenter said a report would be prepared to identify the problematic areas and what could be done about them. He noted that some of the smaller repairs could probably be done locally to save the town money.
“Dwayne has already eliminated most of the down spouts out of the system,” Carpenter noted, adding that additional smoke testing, running cameras through line and doing dye traces could help find areas that needed to be addressed.
“There are many different tests you can do,” Carpenter said. “Some of them are things the town can do.”
Carpenter said his firm would work with the town step-by-step and address each issue. “We will also try to help find the funding for you,” he said.
Town Councilman John Fekete noted the sewage infiltration problem was a long term headache for the town of Man.
“All it takes is one big rain, this time of the year and we can get hit with a bill for thousands,” Fekete explained.
Fekete noted the project would be done in two distinct phases. The first phase would be to do a series of tests to find the worst areas and the second phase would be a full-blown study of the problem with proposed solutions.
Carpenter agreed, noting the preliminary Field Report would be done to come up with a permanent solution.
“You might find 100 bad spots, of which the town might be able to handle ten repairs,” Fekete said.
Carpenter discussed doing a search for grant funds for the project. Carpenter said some of the problems might be easy to fix, such as repairing man-hole covers. Others could require specialized equipment and manpower.
“When the funding is committed I will come back to you,” he told the council members.
“I think we need to expedite this project,” Fekete said.
The contract to do the tests and Field Report were approved and signed.
J.D. Charles is a freelance writer and a former reporter for The Logan Banner.