Archived Story

City sending letters about sewer system

Published 9:22am Friday, January 4, 2013

Residents must separate storm system


Some Ironton residents may need to be on the lookout for a letter from the city requiring them to keep storm water out of the sewer system.

Since the Environmental Protection Agency prohibited Ironton’s combined storm water and sewer systems in 2009, the city has been in the process of a separation project. The requirements made by the EPA are unfunded, meaning the federal and state governments are not required to pay for the improvements.

To help pay for the project, the city previously included a storm utility fee of $2 on each residents water bill. More than half a million in state funds were also received for the project.

Part of the project included a smoke test in the fall of 2010 to detect locations where storm water was entering the sewer system. The tests were performed throughout the last couple of years.

Mayor Rich Blankenship said there were 486 residences in the city that have storm water connected to the sewer system. He also said all the tests couldn’t be performed all at once due to the daily needs of the city and the other phases of the separation project.

“As a result of the unfunded mandate, the city is required to notify the citizens of issues pertaining to their properties,” Blankenship said in a letter to The Tribune. “Therefore, the city is issuing letters to these addresses which are in question. Once the citizen has received the letter, they will be given 60 days to correct the necessary problem and notify the city of the correction completed so we will have a record of those who have complied.”

Phase 1 of the project, which included the north end of Ironton, was recently completed.

With the completion of the first phase, those residents in the north end of town now have a way to separate their storm water from the sewer.

“Everybody has a place for it to go,” Blankenship said. “Before, they didn’t. Whether it be the street for now. We’ll work with the citizens in order to get it corrected.”

Blankenship said crews will work to add more storm drains in the street in the future.

The next phase is set to begin in July and includes the North Fifth and Elm streets area.

Phase 3 is in the south end of town; phase 4 is in the middle area of town and the immediate downtown is the final phase of the project.

The project must be completed by 2025.

  • swampcreature

    Mayor held a public meeting at the city building where residents in the Green Valley/Sedgwick Meadows subdivisions were promised storm sewers, and that any damage done to the concrete streets would be repaired with concrete. Now, I read in the Tribune that the city is finished in our area and headed up to Elm Street.

    My street and the streets that border it still have the same number of storm sewers as before the project was started. ZERO!!!! No work was performed in this area at all. It looks like the city has skipped us, and left us with promises to “work with us” and add more sewers in the future.

    Sorry mayor, but we have no place for storm water to go. Water rests on the street and turns it into a skating pond in winter- and the city salt trucks almost never show up down here. Resting water has already cracked and hooved concrete streets that should have lasted decades longer with our limited traffic. In the summer, resting water provides a nice breeding ground for mosquitoes- which is another problem this city has almost no ability to address.

    Simply put, it’s the city’s fault. These subdivisions were started in the late 1950s (Green Valley) and early 1960s (Sedgwick Meadows) – not the dark ages. City should have made sure storm sewers were installed from day one.

    I sincerely doubt storm sewers will ever be installed in this part of town. It’s probably cost prohibitive to retrofit sewers when you have concrete streets that need jackhammered the length of the street and replaced with new concrete.

    Yet, this city is happy to collect a fee from those living here to separate our storm sewers. Why should we get billed to separate storm sewers when we have no storm sewers? Why should we continue to pay for what we don’t have, and may never get?

    (Report comment)

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