Non-Profit Internet Source for News, Events, History, & Culture of Northern Frederick & Carroll County Md./Southern Adams County Pa.


From the desk of
Town Commissioner Chris Staiger

(2/10) February already and my Christmas lights are still up outside. Oh well, another project for a "warm" forty degree day… At least we escaped January without major winter weather. I guess we’ll see what the next couple of months bring! I’d like to take an opportunity this month to review a mixed bag of issues. Along those same lines, I welcome any input or requests for information that anyone feels would be worthwhile for this space! And, as always, I am available for any inquiries - anytime - either by e-mail or phone.

We did see some roadway flooding in and around town due to heavy rainfall on January 25. Most times it’s hard to envision Tom’s Creek and Flat Run as ‘raging torrents’ – much less the possibility of Little Run overflowing MD140 west of town… At these times, the entire North County area is challenged by the runoff funneling down from higher elevations to the north and west, both near and far, which forces road closures from Emmitsburg down to Thurmont. Beyond roadway flooding, the next biggest challenge to the Town during these events is handling the "wild water" that finds its way into the sewer treatment system.

The Town produces less than 300,000 gallons per day of treated water for delivery to system users, but in December (another very "wet" month) we treated over one million gallons of wastewater on eleven days out of thirty-one. One of those days, December 23, even topped 4.6 million gallons – or 5.75X the wastewater treatment plant’s rated, daily capacity! The difference between what the town produces and what it treats at the sewer plant is surface water from rain or snow melt, "wild water," that infiltrates what should be a closed system. Over the last decade, the Town has begun to take action to reduce these inflows through sewer and water infrastructure rehabilitation projects prioritized by the condition of each line. We are now involved in our third major project on Lincoln Avenue from the Emmit House all the way to (and under) Flat Run.

While the town staff has become proficient at managing huge inflows so as to minimize spills of untreated wastewater ("only" 0.004% spilled on 12-23); I have to admit to being disappointed that we haven’t had more success reducing the huge infiltration in the first place. The current work along Lincoln Avenue is meant to repair and extend water lines to a new well water treatment plant in the Emmit Gardens area, repair the existing sewer lines along the way, and address storm drains that are tied into the sewer lines when, obviously, they should not be… This work is expected to be completed in the next four to six months. As a side note, a final decision has not been made on moving the telephone poles on East Lincoln Avenue and widening the road to allow for unimpeded two way traffic – this would be a separate project with its own benefits and detractions. There are some other issues I would have liked to discuss, such as

proposed changes to town committees, the pros and cons of hunting on land within the town’s limits, and various zoning change recommendations working they’re way through the system. Yes, all exciting stuff, I know! In the meantime, make sure your snow blowers are in top working order! And, as I said above, feel free to contact me anytime at cstaiger@emmitsburgmd. gov or 447-3757 with issues or question of concern.

Thank you for your time,

Chris Staiger

Read other articles by Chris Staiger