County commission tackles sewage concerns

Published 11:00 pm Saturday, February 7, 2009

PROCTORVILLE — A problem with the equalization, or EQ basin in the Union-Rome Sewer System will be fixed within the next three weeks, county officials said Thursday.

The Lawrence County Commission Thursday agreed to allow sewer district manager Tim Porter to purchase an emergency pump that will eliminate sewage backup in the EQ basin.

“The pump in the wet well went bad and the other broke an elbow so we were bypassing,” Porter said. The sewer district was renting a pump at a cost of $370 a day for the last 21 days. A new emergency pump will cost less than $28,000 and will be used until the other pumps can be repaired.

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The situation prompted a letter from Proctorville Mayor Charles Stapleton, who said the odor “is overwhelming” for the people who live in the area.

“The raw sewage has to be a health hazard. We are getting numerous complaints not only from village residents but also from the surrounding area,” Stapleton said. He said there is concern that runoff from the EQ basin may wind up in area wells, creating yet another health hazard.

Also Thursday Commissioner Les Boggs said he received word from Ohio University Southern that its media department will not be videotaping the commission meetings in the future.

Boggs said the university cited a lack of manpower. Boggs had wanted the university to videotape the Thursday commission meetings just as it does the twice-monthly Ironton City Council meetings. He said he would write a second letter, urging school officials to reconsider.

The commission also agreed to send a letter to the county engineer’s office, expressing appreciation for snow removal on the courthouse lot during the recent snowstorms.

The commission also agreed to ask the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to deed three boat ramps to the county that the corps now owns but leases to the county.

The three boat ramps are Indian Guyan, Symmes Creek and Lock 27, all in the Chesapeake and Proctorville areas.

Owning the boat ramps would allow the county more flexibility in how the county uses these areas.