Tonawanda News

Local News

December 18, 2012

Town to tackle new sewer project

Tonawanda News — TOWN OF TONAWANDA — Another multimillion dollar sewer project is set to take place in 2013, according to town officials. And despite the high cost of the project and a high probability the work won’t be completely effective, the town’s hands are tied — as the improvements are mandated by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. 

“We have to do it,” Ken Maving, Director of Water Resources said.

The inflow and infiltration demonstration project test will attempt to limit ground and rain water overflow into the sanitary sewer. Officials originally had a different tactic in mind to control the problem. But in 2010, the DEC asked the town to try a different idea, an inflow and infiltration test, on a small portion of the town to evaluate its effectiveness. 

“They weren’t happy with our current plans at the time,” Maving said. 

Construction work will only be on public areas and will include repairing leaking manhole covers and cracked pipes, among other equipment, on about 2.5 percent of the town. But up to 70 percent of infiltration and inflow is caused by private land and homes that the project won’t touch. 

“We can’t deal with the private problems, like roof drains,” Maving said. 

The undertaking will provide the town and DEC with information to assess whether the project would make sense townwide, both in terms of how effective it is and how much it costs. 

“We will then extrapolate the results and costs to the rest of the town,” Maving said. “It is going to be a huge number.” 

The town has infiltration and inflow data from before the project, a control and test area will be used and then the town will assess data from after the construction. 

But Maving said he wouldn’t be surprised if the project doesn’t make a big difference, as so much of the problem comes from private areas. 

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