Point sewer testing reveals issues

Beth Sergent - [email protected]

POINT PLEASANT — Recent “smoke testing” of the sewer system in Point Pleasant has revealed some issues in terms of rain water running off into sewer drains.

The city had the testing done in order to identify areas where clean storm water was entering the sewer system and then making its way back to the sewage treatment plant to be cleaned again, which results in extra, unnecessary costs to the city. The testing was also done to identify defects in sewer lines which could be dangerous if sewer gasses were allowed to collect in homes.

At this week’s regular meeting of Point Pleasant City Council, Jonathan Owen with the city’s engineering firm Burgess and Niple, said it was estimated one million gallons or more of clean storm water was entering the sewer system and treatment plant after rain events. Again, this was otherwise clean water going into the sewage plant.

The testing took place north of Southern States and as a result 53 private downspouts were identified as going directly into the sewer and six yard drains. It was suggested the city send letters to these property owners asking them to disconnect the downspouts and drains from the sewer. There were also some city catch basins which were contributing to the issue which will need addressed.

The testing went on for five days over a two-week period in July and included smoke being blown into the sewer system at 80 manholes. Some of the smoke could be seen coming from roof vents, building foundations or manhole covers. The smoke was a non-toxic substance which is clean and harmless to humans, pets, food and material goods and creates no fire hazard.

Also at the meeting, Dale Wheeler of Lloyd’s Electronics discussed body cameras for police officers. The model he displayed had an HDMI output, it can record up to 60 frames a second, has a laser pointer, LED light and infrared settings. In addition, the cameras, which appear no bigger than a hand-held radio, can record up to 11 hours of video which Wheeler said was plenty to cover a traditional eight-hour shift. Wheeler said the cameras start at $450 each but can go up in price depending on the memory/storage desired for the unit. He also said there are price breaks for those cameras bought in certain quantities.

Councilwoman Elaine Hunt, who is on the police committee, suggested city council look into finding grants to purchase the cameras but that finding money for raises for officers first should remain the priority.

Beth Sergent

[email protected]

Reach Beth Sergent at [email protected] or on Twitter @BSergentWrites.

Reach Beth Sergent at [email protected] or on Twitter @BSergentWrites.