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Clay Township sewer-overflow project halted

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The Clay Township Regional Waste District on Wednesday withdrew its offer to buy part of a church's land and build a million-gallon sewage-overflow tank near 106th Street and Keystone Parkway.

The King of Glory Lutheran Church requested that the offer be withdrawn earlier this week to give it time meet with neighbors and to research above-ground overflow tanks.

The CTRWD offered $106,800 to buy 1.6 acres of land just south of the church’s building complex and parking lot for an enclosed tank that would temporarily hold sewer overflow. The proposed tank is roughly the size of a large one-story home.

Each year, the area receives heavy rainfall several times, causing the sewer system to overflow. The system is designed with a capacity for just sewage, unlike Indianapolis, which has a combined sewer system for both sewage and rainwater.

Clay Township Utility Director Drew Williams said the CTRWD board of trustees would not say that the project was dead, but that the members were considering their options.

“Your project is dead,” Carmel City Councilor Kevin Rider told IBJ after making the same point at the CTRWD meeting Wednesday. “Find another solution.”

Rider said the city of Carmel has been suggesting several alternatives for the last eight years. Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard said he’s wanted Clay Township Utilities to merge with Carmel Utilities since 1996. CTRWD has resisted to keep its rates down, Williams said.

CTRWD said at the meeting that it would not resort to eminent domain. Instead, the board plans to meet with Carmel’s utility director and consulting engineer to brainstorm for alternatives.

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  • nature preserve
    John, unfortunately CTRWD wants to put the tank(s) right next to a nature preserve and at the southern entrance to Carmel off of Keystone. Not exactly the kind of message you want to send to residents and visitors (come see our tanks as you enter our city and we build stuff in nature preserves...
  • Leakage
    Perhaps, but they've had a very active program to reduce rainwater/sump pump inflows for a number of years. But you are correct that controlling these peak flows will require spending more money - surge tanks, lines or removing storm water inflow at the source.
  • Background
    All sewage goes to the Carmel treatment plant on the White River at 96th St. Rainfall should not affect sewage flows, but somehow it does - and the increased rate is more than the plant can handle a few times each year. One big source is typically homeowners who have their sump pumps connect into the sanitary sewer line rather than to the storm sewer line or yard. So we (Carmel and Clay Twp) need someway to hold the excess flow for a few days until the plant can process this material. Carmel wants the surge tank located at the treatment plant but than means an expensive underground line has to be installed through residential areas while CTRWD wants the surge tank located further 'upstream' from the treatment plant which costs less. Either solution works from an environmental control perspective. The less expensive solution means some people would likely have an unsightly tank near them. Carmel wants the more expensive solution - surprise!
    • There must be a leak
      If the sewer system is designed as a sanitary sewer only and not a combined sanitary and storm water system, then a heavy rain shouldn't be overloading the system. If it does, then somehow the storm water is getting in - such as due to cracks in the sewer lines or downspouts and drains illegally hooked into the system. It sounds like one of the reasons the Clay Township Regional Waste District has lower rates than Carmel is that it isn't spending enough on maintenance to keep storm water out of the system.
      • So?
        Where is all of this pollution going to go? Seems like that question should have been asked. And, for eight years this problem has been known bit nobody will fix it? Maybe the EPA should he called in.

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