CLEARFIELD – Board members of the Clearfield Municipal Authority discussed ongoing and possible upcoming projects during yesterday’s meeting.
Engineer Jim Balliet of Gwin, Dobson and Foreman reported that the state Department of Environmental Protection has requested a pre-application meeting to discuss rehabilitation of the Montgomery Run Dam.
He said a response has been prepared requesting time to update a study done nine years ago on the dam, as well as a precipitation study before such a meeting is held.
Board Chairman Russ Triponey asked him how bad the dam really is and Balliet conceded that it is an old dam and the spillway is not operating at full capacity.
Triponey noted that when the first study was done, the estimated cost was $10 million and it would be higher now. He said that the people of the Clearfield area simply cannot afford another big project.
Balliet replied he hopes that new studies done on rehabilitation or replacement will find that they don’t need as big of a dam as originally thought, that cost effective ways to do the project can be found and that the authority will be able to get a lot of grants. The key, he said, is getting DEP to put off the project as long as possible.
The board also discussed the Sanitary Sewer Overflow near the Hyde Bridge. On Nov. 6 the SSO had to be opened and CMA will face a fine from DEP of about $750, 80 percent of which is paid by Lawrence Township.
Balliet said that employees of CMA went out during the rain event and did some investigating and found areas in the township where there were inflow and infiltration problems, including one area the township had thought would be OK.
The employees contacted township officials and had them come out and see the problems for themselves so that they can be fixed.
He said he appreciates the efforts the township has been making, but is concerned whether it will be enough to close the SSO by September of 2018.
Triponey asked about the fine and what the fines would be if the SSO isn’t closed next year. Balliet said the fine for the first offense will be $5,000, $7,500 for the second offense and $10,000 per day after that.
He added that this is an issue faced by other communities. If they cannot get the SSO closed by September, Balliet said they will proposed a holding tank again as a possible solution as opposed to discharging into the river.
Finally, the board talked about an incident at the wastewater treatment plant where several pumps failed during a power outage, including the Main Influent Pump Station, which overflowed.
Manager John Williams said they have taken steps to prevent such an incident from happening again, and are looking at some other options.
The workers were able to clean up the overflow when they came in the next morning, and Williams said the alarm system did not go off and he and the other crew members went through the entire alarm system and made some changes in priorities and also added people to be notified during certain priority alarms.
There are 2,700 possible alarms that could be triggered at the plant. Finally, the employees are also looking at the electrical system and generators to make sure they’re working properly.