Suzanne Stewart\r\nStaff Writer\r\n\r\nMarlinton Town Council received a report Monday night on the sewer system smoke test, which was performed by Dunn Engineering, in preparation for the town\u2019s sewer system improvement project.\r\n\r\nDunn Engineering owner Wayne Hypes gave the presentation and reported that the smoke test is complete and there were several findings he needed to share with council.\r\n\r\n\u201cWe\u2019ve done as much of the system as we can do,\u201d Hypes said. \u201cThere\u2019s about twenty thousand feet of pipe that we can\u2019t get into due to root intrusion and low swags where you\u2019ve got sewage sitting on both ends and we can\u2019t get smoke into the system.\r\n\r\n\u201cWhat we found are 125 violations and out of that \u2013 the most significant amount is in town,\u201d he continued. \u201cYou\u2019ve got twenty-seven cross connections to your storm sewers now. Every time it rains, you\u2019ve got drop ins that are going into your sanitary sewer and that\u2019s what\u2019s causing the blowout down at your pump stations and at your plant.\u201d\r\n\r\nDuring the testing of the Campbelltown\/Edray section of the system, Hypes said the crew discovered 28 violations \u2013\u00a011 of which are the town\u2019s responsibility while the other 18 are the property owners\u2019 responsibility.\r\n\r\n\u201cIssues over there that are of a major concern \u2013\u00a0we have two major yard drains that are draining people\u2019s yards into their sewer system,\u201d he said. \u201cWe\u2019re going to give you a list \u2013\u00a0it\u2019s part of the report itself \u2013 so that you can get letters out to the property owners and tell them to make the needed corrections.\u201d\r\n\r\nIn downtown Marlinton, Hypes said the crew discovered that several older pipes are still in use although they were replaced at some point by a newer system.\r\n\r\n\u201cIn town, there are some interesting things that we found in checking over with older mapping,\u201d he said. \u201cYou\u2019ve actually got in place a double system where some of the really old pipe appears to still be in service. You\u2019ve got newer pipes along with that.\u201d\r\n\r\nTo remove the storm sewers, Hypes said it would cost $8.6 million, which is the same amount as the grant presented to the Town of Marlinton by Governor Jim Justice last month. The grant will be used for that part of the project.\u00a0\r\n\r\nThere is a separate section of the project where 20,000 feet of pipe and 6,000 feet of service laterals will need to be replaced, costing approximately $5.6 million.\r\n\r\nHypes added that the Department of Environmental Protection [DEP] is now allowing the portion of the project which will upgrade the existing pond and will eliminate issues with the collection system.\u00a0\r\n\r\n\u201cWe finally convinced them to look at this from a different angle and clean up your collection system and modify your ponds,\u201d he said.\r\n\r\n\u201cAs part of the plan, you\u2019re going to have to spend about $112,000 in operation maintenance, just at the plant,\u201d he added. \u201cThat\u2019s something that you can never get grants to cover. That\u2019s coming out of people\u2019s pockets year in, year out. Reducing the project and changing the project, we are going to reduce the cost by $95,000 a year. That\u2019s money that people aren\u2019t going to have to pay dollar per dollar out of pocket, which is going to substantially reduce the rates.\u201d\r\n\r\nCouncil thanked Hypes for the report and ended the discussion with optimism for the project to commence.\r\n\r\nIn other business, council:\r\n\r\n\u2022\u00a0approved the Region IV Resolution #7 for Smoke Testing \u2013 Sewer System Improvement Project.\r\n\r\n\u2022 approved the Region IV Resolution #3 \u2013\u00a0Second Avenue Pump Station Emergency Project.\r\n\r\n\u2022\u00a0opening a project bank account for the CDBG-MIT Stormwater System Improvements.\r\n\r\n\u2022\u00a0hired Tom Jackson as the town\u2019s floodplain manager.\r\n\r\n\u2022\u00a0discussed coming up with ideas for ways to invest the CARES funds. The discussion will continue in the following months as council- members brainstorm projects for the town.\r\n\r\nMarlinton Town Council meets the first Monday of each month, holidays excluded, at 7 p.m. in the auditorium at the municipal building. The meeting is also available via phone or Zoom.