MIDDLEPORT — Middleport Village Administrator Joe Woodall briefed a small audience Monday evening on an upcoming major sewer project.
The “Combined Sewer and Mine Drainage Flow Improvement” will divert water runoff from abandoned mines away from Middleport’s sewage system.
Woodall described the project area as Grant, Seventh, Brownell, and Main Streets, with construction lasting until spring 2018.
Collection points at Brownell, Chestnut, and Vine Streets will be modified to separate the mine drainage, and keep it out of Middleport’s sewer system.
Woodall quoted an estimate that one inch of rain could result in two million extra gallons of water into the sewer. The massive amount of flow contributed to frequent residential basement overflows (more than a dozen in each 2015 and 2016), according to Woodall.
“That’s too much for the system to handle,” he said.
In addition, Councilperson Doug Dixon said sewage costs will be reduced by chemically treating fewer gallons.
Plans for the project began under the previous Mayoral and Council administration, through a contract with Choice One Engineering, but Woodall secured the entire $2.3 million dollar funding from the Environmental Protection Agency, according to Fiscal Officer Sue Baker.
Mayor Sandy Ianarrelli noted, with great approval, Main Street bricks would be re-laid due to a pre-existing village ordinance which mandated the historic bricks be replaced following any infrastructure work.
Woodall said he held successful meetings to address concerns of individual residents who will be particularly affected.
However, he warned “there will be traffic issues.”
Woodall also allowed the possibility poor weather could delay contractors, but remained optimistic.
“(The EPA) are investing in us with this money,” said Woodall. “It is a huge opportunity to complete a major project like this.”
Michael Hart is a freelance writer for The Daily Sentinel.