Share This Page

Connellsville Municipal Authority moves ahead with plans to study overflow

| Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014, 12:33 a.m.

Connellsville Municipal Authority agreed Tuesday night to move ahead with plans to conduct a combined sewage overflow monitoring study mandated by the state Department of Environmental Protection.

The plan is required by DEP to make sure the municipal authority is in compliance with the Clean Water Act, according to authority member Rod Gunderson.

Authority members voted unanimously to award contracts to Widmer Engineering of Connellsville and Drnach Environmental Inc. of Elizabeth to conduct the study.

Drnach Environmental Inc. will conduct the six-month study at a cost of $227,290.40. The study will include monitoring 47 meters operated by the municipal authority.

Widmer Engineering will be paid an estimated $50,000 for work it will provide for the study, according to Doug Coffman, professional engineer for Widmer.

Coffman said two other proposals were received for the project. Savannah Environmental bid $375,600 for the project and AVS Environmental bid $346,741.

In its 2014 budget, the authority had earmarked about $200,000 for the meter monitoring and an additional $40,000 in engineering costs.

“Widmer Engineering will serve as the contractor and Drnach will serve as the subcontractor for the project,” Coffman said.

Authority Chairman Jodi Enany said the study is expected to begin in March.

“The study will monitor the combined storm sewer and sanitary flow,” Enany said.

Gunderson explained that the purpose of the study is to make sure the authority is complying with DEP regulations and the Clean Water Act.

“We want the public to know that this study isn't going to cost customers that much money,” Gunderson said.

As a comparison, Gunderson said Mt. Pleasant and Uniontown completed recent projects that separated the storm water and sanitary sewer flows.

“Those municipalities paid about $20 million to $30 million to complete those projects,” he said. “Connellsville decided to take a less expensive route.”

The authority discussed the possibility of asking Bullskin Township, Connellsville Township and South Connellsville to share in the cost of the project, which benefit customers in those areas.

“We need to review our inter-municipal agreements with those municipalities to see if we can require them to share in the cost,” Gunderson said.

The authority plans to hold a public meeting on the combined sewage system overflow monitoring study in April.

“We want to educate the public about the need for the study and the authority's requirement to comply with the Clean Water Act,” Gunderson said.

Cindy Ekas is a contributing writer.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.