Town using old line to help
current sewer problem
James Rada, Jr.
may be old sewer lines that got the Town of
Thurmont into the legal troubles it is facing,
but old sewer lines are now giving the town
Town staff recently identified an abandoned
sewer line in the Ironmaster Court area of
town, which is among the lowest points in the
town sewer system and the area where the
system has backed up in the past.
“Town staff feels that by using it we can have
a possible leveling off of some flows. They
think a leveling off will help reduce the
stress on the system,” said Thurmont Chief
Administrative Officer Bill Blakeslee. He said
an average of 67,000 gallons of wastewater a
day, or the equivalent of about 268 houses’
wastewater, can be diverted from the
overburdened lines through the abandoned line.
“They cleaned out the line and pumped water
through it and found out it was still usable,”
said Mayor Martin Burns.
Blakeslee noted that a pumping station was
originally used to pump wastewater through the
line and the town will need a pump to use the
abandoned line again. The commissioners
approved renting a pump temporarily to see how
well the old line functions during a real rain
event. Refurbishing the line could cost
between $60,000 and $150,000 depending on how
the commissioners proceed after testing the
line, according to Blakeslee.
“This is just another emergency measure to
divert flows to protect homes,” Burns said.
The town is currently facing its second
multi-million lawsuit because of sewer lines
backing up in residents’ homes.
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