Feedback sought on sanitary sewers

BROWNSTOWN

Whether or not Brownstown residents have had sanitary sewer issues, town officials want feedback in hopes of obtaining a grant to start rehabilitating the system, which was installed in the 1950s.

Scott Hunsucker, superintendent of Brownstown Wastewater Utility, said this week he sent out more than 500 letters asking residents for their comments.

If anyone has been affected by the sanitary sewer, they are asked to send a letter to Brownstown Town Hall with the following information:

What were the issues you experienced with the sanitary sewer line?

What problems did it cause you?

How many times have the issues occurred?

Were the issues weather-related (huge rain, snow, only in the spring, etc.)?

Was anything damaged?

Did you incur any cost related to these issues?

“The people that call us all the time and say (the sewer) is backing up. Now we need them to tell us in a letter what’s happening,” Hunsucker said.

The town also wants residents who haven’t had sanitary sewer issues to submit a letter to give the town a chance of receiving the $400,000 Office of Community and Rural Affairs grant.

“Maybe your house is not affected, but another one in the same neighborhood is having issues,” Hunsucker said. “We’re looking for you to send a letter that says, ‘Hey, I’m not having issues, but I know my neighbors have, and I don’t want to be next, so I’m all for (the town) getting the grant and getting this project started.’”

Letters need to be submitted by Dec. 18. The grant application is due in March.

The more letters received, the more points the town will earn toward possibly receiving the grant, Hunsucker said.

Wastewater utility workers and Wessler Engineering officials have performed cleaning and video inspections to help determine the sewer lines and manholes in town that are known to have the biggest issues.

“We went through our cleaning logs. We keep track of the cleaning that we go up and do,” Hunsucker said. “Wessler has done smoke testing of the sewer lines, manhole inspections and pole cam, where they look 150 to 200 feet up into each manhole. Based on our logs and their data, they came up with the Priority 1, Priority 2 and Priority 3 sewer lines.”

Hunsucker said that if the town is successful in obtaining the grant, work can begin on the Priority 1 sanitary sewer lines and manholes.

That’s why feedback in letters of support for the project are helpful, Hunsucker said.

“I’ve got all my cleaning logs that show where we think the problems are. Wessler’s got all of this data that shows where they think problems are. Now, we need … letters from homeowners to back up the data we’ve got,” Hunsucker said.

The grant is for the first part of a multiple-phase rehabilitation project that has a price tag of $4.1 million.

At a glance

Brownstown is applying for a grant to start rehabilitating an aging sanitary sewer system.

In its grant application process, the town is asking residents to submit letters of support for the project, explaining whether they have had sanitary sewer issues.

Letters should be sent to Brownstown Town Hall, 200 W. Walnut St., Brownstown, IN 47220.

Author photo
Zach Spicer is a reporter for The (Seymour) Tribune. He can be reached at zspicer@tribtown.com or 812-523-7080.