Salineville still studying flood, sewer problems

SALINEVILLE — Flood waters which swept through Salineville in mid-June are the focus of some work underway by Councilman Brian Zaverl, village employee Ralph Ross and the Board of Public Affairs.

During a meeting of the facilities and public properties committee of council on Monday, Zaverl reported to all the members of council and Mayor Linda Adams the progress being made in searching for the root of the flooding and sewer line problems.

Zaverl said after using a jet truck to reach 800 feet through the sewer lines, they could not find anything blocking them. They did find some debris and a Barbie doll, but not much else that would cause the lines to back up. Zaverl said they are currently looking at how to get a camera in to go through the lines. In some places, the line seems slow for no reason, but at the next manhole cover down the line it is flowing well.

While the EPA mandates storm water should not be infiltrating the sewer lines, Zaverl said they are looking to make sure that is not the case so things can be corrected if they are. He plans to have someone pump some smoke through the lines to see problems, including possible places were storm drains have in the past been connected to the septic system. Zaverl said there could be grant money available once some of the problems with the system are located.

Councilwoman Sally Keating noted Zaverl and council need to be careful about getting involved with the EPA and into projects, which could cost the village too much.

At various times during the meeting Keating and fellow council members Jim Wilson and Buck Higgins all noted there may have just been too much water during the storm on June 12 for anything to have handled it.

While there are about 320 manhole covers on a map showing the system in the village, Zaverl said they are looking for them so they can check them and at this point they have only been able to locate 120. In some cases, the manhole cover is under several feet of dirt and sometimes the cover is even under some concrete. In some cases it is taking a metal detector just to make sure the manhole is located where the maps say it should be. Zaverl said the village should have right of ways where the manholes are located.

Some of the manholes covers need to be raised several inches or even feet. Zaverl said putting in the risers would be expensive.

Working on the various storm drains and sewer lines has uncovered some strange things. At the prior council meeting last week, Ross had reported they found an electric pole inside a culvert which had to be pulled out.

Zaverl said he has attended some informational meetings and upcoming EPA requirements are going to mean a study of the plant and the system to determine what assets the plant and village system has, how old the equipment is and how much the village is setting aside for the maintenance and eventual replacement of the system. Zaverl said the EPA wants the studies completed from everyone and it could mean not receiving grants in the future if the asset management plan is not done.

“Before they start giving you money, they want to know that you are actively working on things and not just letting it go,” Zaverl said.

Council members talked about areas of town usually more prone to flooding and areas which flooded where there usually is not a river of water coming down the hill when it rains. Additionally, they talked about homes or buildings which have burned down or been torn down in the past and whether additional flooding in those areas could be from the tap-ins to those properties not being properly capped when the holes were filled in.