Sewer board to replace 46 grinder pumps

KINGWOOD — Prior to its monthly meeting, the Kingwood Sewer Board held a special meeting concerning the replacement of 46 grinder pumps with gravity flow systems.

No members of the public attended.

Matt Flueharty, an engineer from Civil & Environmental Consultants (CEC), said the project would allow the city to pick up 46 new customers. He said work is being done in several locations, including W.Va. 7 toward Walmart, South Fork, some homes along W.Va. 26 and Millers road.

“Construction will start about this time next year,” Flueharty said. “We’re currently working on right-of-ways. We’ll be submitting the project to the Public Service Commission early next year.”

He said replacing the grinder pumps will save the city about $50,000 a year.

Sewer Supervisor Nick Wolfe said whether the homes connect or not they will have to pay a basic sewer bill.

During the regular meeting the topic shifted from grinder pumps to smoke testing. Sewer Clerk Amy DeBerry said some smoke customers have yet to comply to the letters sent out to them about needed repairs.

Earlier this year, the city did smoke-testing to find out where there were problems in the system that was allowing infiltration and inflow (I&I), which refers to the various ways groundwater and stormwater make its way into a sanitary sewer system.

During the September meeting of the Sewer Board, Wolfe said 189 smoke-testing letters went out to customers and 56 to the city. The letters gave recipients 90 days to repair I&I problems on their property. He said Camp Dawson has “many different issues” that need to be addressed, and has requested an extension beyond the 90 days allowed under the ordinance.

DeBerry said 41 of the customers have not complied with their letters. She said this does not mean 41 separate homes because some properties have more than one problem.

Wolfe said Camp Dawson is working on its problems as is the city. He said the city of Kingwood has 56 problems that will not be completed by the 90-day deadline.

“It will take the city a year and Camp Dawson six months to get done,” he said.

Board member Randy Plum said the board would have to look at Camp Dawson and the city and treat them the same as the customers. He suggested contacting the city attorney about the matter.

Later, at the Kingwood City Council meeting, DeBerry said she talked with the sewer board’s attorney and he told her to apply a surcharge to those who don’t comply with the letter, but not to those who are working on repairs. The charge will appear on November bills.

Board members voted to have CEC do aerial photographs of the homes in question and provide roof and driveway sizes.

The next meeting of the Kingwood Sewer Board will be 2:30 p.m. Nov. 14.