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Town sewer line repairs continue

(12/9) The Emmitsburg Board of Commissioners approved at December 6 to fund the repair of a degraded section of the wastewater collection system in the area of Flat Run.

Town manager David Haller explained that approximately 300 feet of 10-inch pipeline has been breached as the result of a section of Creamery Road that has shifted, resulting in excessive storm water runoff getting into the disrupted sewer line.

The affected portion of the collection system, which consists of old clay piping, runs beneath Creamery Road. Haller said the sections of the pipeline "appeared to have pulled apart."

The town manager said that "in times of heavy rain" up to one million gallons of storm and creek water can flow into the section and then be conveyed to the treatment plant, potentially resulting in the plant exceeding its permitted 750,000 gallons-per-day treatment capacity.

The commissioners approved a bid at their meeting in the amount of $17,500 for the repair of the 300-foot section of pipeline to Mr. Rehab, Inc.

The other bids received for the work were submitted by Am-Liner, Inc., in the amount of $19,850 and Humphrey and Sons, Inc., in the amount of $31,655.

While the repair is expected to correct a significant influx of unwanted water along the affected section, it is not the only degraded section of the wastewater collection system left to be addressed.

"There are several areas (remaining to be fixed)," Haller stated. "The system is very old and constantly falling apart. You kind of have to keep working with it all the time."

In spite of nearly $4 million spent on improving the collection system since 2000, Town Manager David Haller told the commission at their November 21 meeting that peaks in the amount of wastewater treated have actually increased since all of the work to date has been completed.

The section of pipeline to be repaired by Mr. Rehab, Inc., is seen as a potential major contributor to those peaks, but another factor may be the repairs made thus far.

"Now that we’re catching it (unwanted stormwater), we’re funneling it" to the plant since some of the water can no longer escape through some of the now-eliminated breaks further down the system, he said.

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