Saturday, November 1, 2008

Dianne Garrett reports Whitehall City Council meeting Tuesday October 28.

Whitehall City Council met for committee meeting October 28. A representative of EMHT presented the Executive Summary of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA) Director's Final Findings and Orders (DFFO's) regarding sewer lines.

The City of Columbus entered into a Consent Order on August 1, 2002, which requires Columbus to properly operate and maintain its wastewater collection system and treatment plants. Columbus must submit to OEPA a System Evaluation and Capacity Assurance Plan to ensure that capacity is available to treat all flows that enter into Columbus' sanitary sewer system. Columbus cannot comply with this Consent Order unless accurate information regarding flows and infiltration and inflow is obtained from the satellite communities, such as Whitehall, Bexley and other suburbs. Over the past two years, the orders have been revised (based on input from the satellites, Columbus ane OEPA into the current final versions.

It is the goal of these orders that satellite communities properly manage, operate and maintain all parts of its sewer system at all times in accordance with the orders, and to:

Provide adequate capacity to convey base flows and peak flows for all parts of the sewer system.

Take all feasible steps to stop Sanitary Sewer Overflow (SSO) and Water in Basements (WIB), and mitigate the impact of SSO's and WIB's from the sewer system.

Minimize excessive infiltration and inflow, and provide notification to the parties with reasonable potential for exposure to pollutants associated with any overflow event.

Service Director Ray Ogden noted that incidents of WIB's have been greatly decreased due to their constant monitoring of root systems, grease and debris in the sewers. The city also inspects man holes often.

There are five main tasks described in the DFFO:

* Conduct a Sewer System Evaluation Survey.

* Document and report the city's "Capacity, Management, Operation and Maintenance Program to the OEPA.

* Sanitary Sewer Overflow reporting and records maintenance.

* Identify and implement the city's Public Notification Program.

* Prepare and implement an SSO Emergency Response Plan.

The city also has two options.

They can complete a full SSES of the city's sanitary sewer system within five years of the effective date of the orders. The study will reveal deficiencies within the system that must be repaired or replaced. Once complete, a schedule for implementation of the corrective actions is submitted to the OEPA, and the orders are terminated.

Or, they can use a phased approach to conduct SSES's and implement corrective actions within a 15 year period. Under this option, the city would be broken up into multiple study areas. The SSES and corrective actions for a particular study area would occur in succession. It requires that all deficiencies be corrected within 15 years. Ogden feels that this will be the best option for Whitehall, since the process is a very expensive undertaking.

Reported by Dianne Garrett for Bexley Public Radio.

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Design is copyright 2008. All rights reserved. Bexley Public Radio Foundation. Text is copyright 2008. All rights reserved. Dianne Garrett.

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