Several sewer issues in recent weeks are the reason for this update.
The town crew works diligently, addressing water and sewer problems. However, we always have more work than we can keep up with and most work seldom completely satisfies the customer.
Residents should be aware of the following:
The Town of Marlinton owns and operates a combined sewage collection system and treatment facility that serves residential and commercial customers. The collection system consists of more than 19-miles of gravity sewer and force mains, 390 manholes, 83 cleanouts, four sewage pumping stations and one Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO).
Except for a sewer extension to the community of Edray, the sewage collection system has seen few improvements since the 1960s, and parts of the collection system are more than 80 years old. The sewage treatment plant, installed in the early 1960s, consists of a grit chamber, a mechanical bar screen, a 0.72 acre, 10-foot-deep unlined aerated lagoon and a 5.4 acre, 4-foot deep unlined stabilization pond. The 6,200-gallon chlorine contact tank and appurtenances included in the original design are permitted to treat 200,000 gpd [gallons per day] of combined sewage, including flows and sediments from the town’s water treatment plant.
Comparatively, few improvements have been made to the facility in the more than 50 years that it has been operating.
Not unlike other systems across the county, our sewer system has historically been subject to significant amounts of infiltration and inflow, commonly referred to as I&I. Over the past 10 years, total sewer flows have averaged 244,000 gpd, while customer sewage production (based on customer water purchases), have averaged 66,000 gpd during that same period.
NOTE: You may need to read this again. This situation (73% I&I) makes meeting DEP compliance next to impossible.
So, because of the large quantity of groundwater, the DEP “85% reduction requirements” are impossible to meet.
The current challenge is to submit a plan-of-corrective action, that we (the town) can afford and the DEP will agree with.
Ironically, the water loss in the aging water distribution system costs dollars and the sewer system intake of groundwater cost dollars.
Worse yet, those who complain the most and understand the least, will never read or hear about this.