Millbury in final phase of reducing sewer backups

Kelly J. Kaczala

        The Village of Millbury has nearly completed a long-term, multi-phased project that will reduce flooding following heavy rain events.
        Jerry Greiner, president of the district, said last week that the village is in the final phase of a project to reduce inflow and infiltration (I&I).
        “We’re wrapping up some different areas in Millbury. We’re hoping to remove the last of the storm water that we’ve been trying to remove from the system for the last 20 years,” said Greiner.
        The work includes, but is not limited to, eliminating connections from downspouts and sump pumps, he said.
        “We’re about done. There’s been a fair amount of replacement of old sanitary lines that were either failing, cracked, broken or collapsed. That is all part of the last phase. We can say we’ve eliminated a fair amount of storm water and at least getting it out of the sanitary system,” he said.
        When ground water and storm water enter city collection systems – known as I&I - treatment plants become less efficient and systems become strained.
        “Millbury’s sewer flow follows a fairly long route before it gets treated,” he said. “It gets pumped ultimately to the Oregon wastewater treatment plant. The more we can remove that storm water out of the sanitary system, the better it is for us. We’re not pumping it any more than we need to. And that’s less going to Oregon. Anything we can do to reduce their capacity is good for everybody.”
        Tom Stalter, the engineer for the district, said the long term project covers all of Millbury.
        “We put a list together of all the problems, then just did one piece at a time,” he said. “The last thing we did was the private service laterals – which goes from the sewer to the home. That made a significant impact. When we got a lot of rainfall, it used to fill up our sanitary sewers. We still get some, but not nearly as bad. It’s controlled.”
        He said a lot of money over the years has gone into reducing I & I in the village. The cost, though, has been well worth it. It’s made a big difference in avoiding flooded basements.
        “We spent millions in Millbury in the last six or seven years. When there was wet weather, and the sanitary sewers backed up, sometimes we would have to pump into the creek to avoid flooding basements. So we’ve done a lot of work rebuilding sewers and sewer laterals to the homes. We seem to have, if not corrected it, at least made it a lot better. It’s made a huge difference. We have not pumped into the creek during wet weather in at least a year. So we’re in pretty good shape now. We think we have a pretty good handle on it. If we do have issues in the future, hopefully they will be minor and we can take care of them.”
EPA funding
        Most of the funding for the multi-phased project was from the Ohio EPA’s Water Pollution Control Loan Fund (WPCLF), he added. Created in 1989, the WPCLF helps communities improve their wastewater treatment systems. The program offers below-market interest rate loans, which can save communities a substantial amount of money compared to market-rate loans, according to the Ohio EPA.
        “Many times, we’ll nominate projects before they’re quite ready,” he said. “Sometimes the EPA can give us really favorable terms. If we can get the funds on better terms, we’ll proceed with the project. We don’t really plan on doing half of the projects on the list for the next year. It is fairly easy to apply for funding. The EPA does a nice job helping us out. Eventually, the projects will get done through that program, but we do nominate them a couple of years ahead of time.”


The Press

The Press
1550 Woodville Road
Millbury, OH 43447

(419) 836-2221

Email Us

Facebook Twitter

Ohio News Media Association