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WASTEWATER: Plant issues reach boiling point for S. Whitley

August 15, 2013

SOUTH WHITLEY — Intense rainfall has been a concern for residents across the county this summer, but when heavy rains create flooding at the newly constructed wastewater treatment plant in South Whitley, town leaders start to get heated.

After the $3 million project was completed, a storm that came through the town Aug. 2 came with such intensity that it blew off two manhole covers, spilling water overflow into the Eel River.

The concern for Town Council members was that the amount of rain received, although it was considerable, still fell below the maximum amount the system should have been able to handle.

This is the second time during the summer months that manhole covers have not withstood the pressure.

Engineering representative Dave Harvey and Plant Supervisor Kent Slater were at Tuesday’s council meeting to shed some light on the flooding concern.

“In the Aug. 2 storm, 3.4 inches fell over a six-hour period,” Slater said. “Two of the manhole covers weren’t bolted down properly and they blew. A month or so ago, we had the covers redone and I thought we went through and corrected this problem.”

Through conversation with Slater and Harvey, the council determined that the contractor for the project, Gerig-ottenweller Contracting, LLC, was responsible for installing the manholes and the covers.

According to Harvey, the contractor did not install the manholes correctly and he was not made aware of the error until after the faulty covers leaked.

To read the rest of this story, see the Aug. 15 issue of The Post and Mail. Don't have a subscription? Call (260) 244-5153 or subscribe to our e-edition. For breaking news, sports updates and additional coverage, bookmark the homepage and find us on facebook and twitter.

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