SALINEVILLE - A recent effort to collect delinquent accounts was only partly successful, so Brian Zaverl, president of the Salineville Board of Public Affairs said the board is prepared to take the next step, sending out certified letters.
He said the letters sent out Aug. 25 had only about 50 percent response, so the board will now send out service shut-off letters by certified mail.
Zaverl noted work continues on repairs at the sewer plant, and that the grinder pumps needed on about 18 customers' homes are continually breaking down. He is trying to find pumps at a lower cost that would still be of benefit, since the high end pumps he has been using are malfunctioning.
He said he has been told that he does not need to use the pumps that cost $1,600 each, and he could probably save $200 or $300 per pump and still buy pumps that are suitable for the village needs. The 18 customers have the pumps to pump sewage up to the sewer lines in an area where the sewer lines that carry sewage to the plant are higher than the sewer lines coming out of the customers' homes.
He said some of the $1,600 pumps "are not any good right out of the box."
Zaverl said another problem is that customers need to be careful about what goes into the sewer system. Sometimes debris, mostly feminine hygiene products, cause clogs and make the pumps malfunction. He noted there are other various items that end up in the sewer system too, such as toys and other random items children tend to drop into toilets and flush.
He said some of the problems are at the same addresses and if the problems continue - causing crews to respond three or four times each week to unclog the sewer lines - the board will find a way to determine the cause of the malfunctions and levy fines on the customers. He said crews could take photos as they make repairs so the board can determine what caused the clog.
If the board decides from the evidence presented that the clog could have been prevented, the customer could then be fined, he noted.
He also said as the work continues to make repairs to the entire system, the board is also trying to do whatever possible to correct problems with the grinder pumps for those 18 customers, so the pumps run more efficiently and don't use so much electricity.
During Monday's council meeting, Zaverl requested approval for appropriations so money could be moved around in the various sewer department funds. Money is needed for repairs, he said, and money is available that could be used, but it is in different funds.
The council gave the approval.
The next Board of Public Affairs meeting is at 7 p.m. Sept. 24 at the village hall.