By Jessica Bagley
The Tonawanda News
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.
“The answer could very conceivably be that it’s not effective,” Maving said. “But we have to prove that it’s not going to work to show them what will work.”
And this project alone, serving just 630 homes, will cost $3,840,600 for engineering and construction work. In total, the demonstration project will cost the town $6 million.
The project must be complete by the end of 2013 in order to satisfy a state mandate and construction is set to begin in April. Bids are set to go out in March.
The town will then have a year after the project is complete to assess post-construction data and will submit a report to the DEC after all the information is collected.
The DEC will then respond to the town within 12 months to advise whether not the project’s tactics are the best way to go.
Construction will take place on the following streets: Clark Street, Willowbreeze Road, Meadow Lane, Woodcrest Boulevard, Glencove Road, Liston Street, Chatsworth Avenue, Harding Avenue, Legion Drive, Colvinhurst Drive, Brockett Drive, Marjann Terrace, Delaware Avenue, Delaware Road and Colvin Boulevard.
A public hearing for the project is set to take place at the next regular town board meeting Jan. 7 at 7:30 p.m. in the Municipal Building.
The board also approved a resolution to pay $30,000 to Carmina Wood Morris, PC, to complete a study for the Youth, Park and Recreation department to consider adding a third ice skating rink and improving the existing two, which were built in the 1950s and 1960s.
“It is an engineering study that will look at the cost of the new facility and upgrades at existing facilities, which need some TLC,” Councilman Dan Crangle said. “There is high demand for ice time, and the study will help and guide us in the right
direction.”Contact reporter Jessica Bagley at 693-1000, ext. 4150