Things are going according to plan, for the most part.
Travis Mitchell with the Environmental Design Partnership met with members of the Whitehall Village Board during their Aug. 17 meeting to talk about the progress that his company had made on the wastewater treatment system, including what the village needs to do to meet the Consent Order it signed with the Department of Environmental Conservation.
“We have met with the DEC several times,” said Mitchell. “The recent Consent Order requires that completion of a report by the beginning of 2010 that will provide a full overview of the system itself.”
Mitchell said EDP has been working in several areas throughout the past few months in order to be prepared for the upcoming report.
‘We know that there is an issue; that’s nothing new,” said Mitchell. “We have been evaluating the flows and estimating what those flows should be and compared that with what they are. What the DEC wants is something that they can quantify and that is what the focus of the interim report was for that was due on Aug. 1. It was based on the flow data that we collected.”
Along with flow monitoring, the village has also been locating all manhole covers within the wastewater system.
“The village DPW has been inspecting all of the manhole covers and photographing each one,” said Mitchell. “They have done well over half of them to this point. The ones that are obvious have been inspected. Now the challenge is finding the ones that are buried by pavement or buried in a back yard.”
Mitchell said EDP also had the results back from the smoke testing it did throughout the system over the past month, and while officials were able to get a lot of information from the results, they did not find what they were looking for.
“It was very successful, but we are somewhat disappointed in the results that there was not any major sources of leakage that could be easily fixed,” said Mitchell.
One thing Mitchell said will have to be done is an inspection of all basements in the wastewater system.
“The attorney (Tony Jordan) put together a letter that went out to all of the property owners in the system stating what needs to be done and asking for a convenient time and day of the week to get in and check these basements,” said Mitchell. “We have received 513 responses and the issue then is how to perform those inspections.”
Trustee Kenneth Bartholomew said there was a plan in place to take care of the work.
“We have it taken care of and once we get the results, you will be able to sort it any way that you need,” said Bartholomew.
“What has to be done is a form needs to be filled out and you have to take pictures,” said Mitchell. “The question is do we do this with village personnel or work through someone else.”
“I think that we want to see the form first before we proceed with who will do the work,” said Bartholomew. “But we do need to get going on this, though, because it is needed for the next report.”
Mitchell said while the number of responses so far was good, the village should send out a second letter to those who have yet to set an appointment.
“We should probably get that done and get started on these as soon as possible, then,” said village Mayor Francis “Fra” Putorti.