MAN, W.Va. — The town of Man will be moving forward in dealing with the town’s sewage infiltration problem which has led to some dramatic sewage treatment bills from the Buffalo Creek Public Service District.
Monday night, Mayor Jim Blevins told The Logan Banner that the town has been stuck with a $22,000 a year wastewater treatment bill from BCPSD for years and that it is threatening to bankrupt the town.
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.
On Monday, Sept. 12, Jesse Alden with the Thrasher Group met with the council during their regular meeting to discuss the initial steps in addressing the long standing problem. Previously, the town had run a legal ad in state newspapers about a proposed repair project last month in dealing with the infiltration problem, and the town had chosen Thrasher Group for the initial study and official Field Report.
Alden said that his organization had begun smoke testing in the town on Monday and that they had notified residents personally in advance of the smoke testing.
Thrasher Group workers hope to find out where the water leaks are in the old terra-cotta sewage lines, Mayor Blevins explained. Smoke is forced into the lines and if it gets out the workers can pin point on maps where the problems lie. Two years ago residents of the Man area were asked to remove their downspouts from the gutters of their roofs from the sewage line because that water was going into BCPSD’s collection meters.
“Those that we can, the town will fix ourselves,” Mayor Blevins said of the leaking lines.
Jesse Alden said it was important for residents to know what was going on, so they did not see smoke and panic and call the fire department needlessly. Alden presented Mayor Blevins with several documents to sign to move the work forward.
“We recently got approval for $10,000 to help pay for this project,” the mayor said, adding he was glad to see the project make progress.
Alden said to date around 70 percent of the smoke testing had been completed and notices had been hand delivered to residents in the affected area. Alden said his company would also look into the possibility of temporarily installing another collection flow meter into the main line to ensure that the amounts that the BCPSD meter is registering are synchronized so that the meter charges are correct and accurate.
“You can get your own data that way, and correlate and make sure you are not paying too much to Buffalo Creek PSD,” he said, adding that his company also had sonic flow meters and could do that sort of testing.
J.D. Charles is a freelance writer and a former reporter for The Logan Banner.