Wednesday, August 26th, 2009
By Margie Wuebker
New Bremen officials smoke out sewer problems this week
  NEW BREMEN - Things were smoking in this Auglaize County village in an effort to locate sources of clear water infiltration into the sanitary sewer system.
Village Administrator Wayne York told village councilors Tuesday night smoke testing had been completed earlier in the day. Catch basins in two areas - along South Walnut Street near the elementary/junior high school building north to Plum and Front streets and North Main Street to Knoxville and Boesel streets - are the likely culprits.
In addition, telltale smoke identified a dozen or more properties where downspouts drain into the sewer system. Additionally, smoke showed prominently along an alley near the Crown Equipment Corporation training center and several suck holes were located in the first block of South Walnut Street south of Monroe Street.
Some homeowners reported smoke in their basements with the problem likely being no plumbing trap or no water in the existing trap.
"People with issues will get notices in person or in the mail," York explained.
Correcting the downspout problem will be up to the property owners while many of the other issues - sink holes and catch basins - fall under the village's bailiwick.
Two crews worked throughout the day pumping smoke into the sewer system and watching for telltale plumes indicating breaks and or defects.
York said smoke testing was initiated to identify infiltration sites in hopes of stopping clear water from entering the system and being treated at the wastewater treatment plant. There have been occasions when flow has exceeded plant capacity. This typically occurs during heavy downpours.
In other business, councilors:
• Amended legislation regarding a checking account for the Issue I resurfacing project and contract officer for the project. Mayor Jeff Pape replaces York as the officer in accordance with guidelines from the Ohio Public Works Department.
• Decided to maintain a 6:30 p.m. meeting time throughout the year for the sake of consistency. Previously meetings in January, February and March began at 7:30 p.m.
• Accepted on an emergency basis the amounts and rates as set by the budget commission and authorized the county auditor to certify the necessary tax levies.
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