Mahaffey municipal customers issued reminder concerning private construction projects|
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
By Dianne Byers Staff Writer
MAHAFFEY - Members of Mahaffey Borough Municipal Authority, at yesterday's meeting, stressed again the importance of contacting the authority before beginning any project altering or modifying any component of the wastewater treatment system.
The authority said yesterday that means work done involving laterals, main lines or manholes. Notice to the authority will not only be cost effective to the customer making an improvement because the work will only be done one time using a design and materials certified by the authority's engineer, but will also have a cost-savings to the authority's customers because there will not be a liability created by substandard materials or work.
The discussion was prompted by the Rev. Myron Wattenphul, pastor of the Mahaffey Christian and Missionary Alliance Church who attended yesterday's meeting, concerning a letter the church received about a manhole extension to allow the church to create an additional section of parking lot.
Wattenphul said the church was not trying to cut corners or make an independent decision but believed it had taken the steps it needed to take before doing the project.
Travis Long of Gwin, Dobson & Foreman Inc., the authority's engineer, said he was unable to certify the project because although the quality of work was fine, he was unable to examine all the materials used and was unsure whether they met the standards called for in the authority's rules and regulations.
The Rev. Doug Turner, authority member, said the authority has been working very hard on its order from the state Department of Environmental Protection to eliminate the infiltration of surface water in the wastewater collection and treatment system.
He said smoke testing has recently been performed and customers are notified about any problems on their properties with a notice placed on the door the day of the testing and a follow-up letter.
He said in both cases when there is a new project and or customers making repairs to issues indicated by smoke testing, the materials and work must be inspected before they are put into use, helping to protect both the customer and the authority.
In other business, the authority:
l granted permission, with stipulations, for Keister Miller Investments, Mahaffey, to bring an additional volume of wasterwater to the plant to be treated. All loads brought by KMI must be certified and have a manifest with copies of both presented to the plant operator. The plant operator has the right to reject any loads based on the quality of the load or conditions at the plant. Previously, the authority gave permission for KMI to have up to 1,000 gallons per month treated.
l authorized sending three delinquent customer accounts to the district magisterial court to start the collection process and approved collecting an account through a sheriff's sale.
l heard a report on smoke testing. The examination found 57 problems and 22 of those have been corrected. Members approved sending a second notice to customers whose systems were identified as having a problem and have not responded to the initial letter.
Roy "Butch" Markle, employee, said three customers have been granted an extension on the 30-day timeline because they requested additional time. Turner said the authority is willing to work with customers who are having financial difficulties or other problems, however, customers have to take the first step of the contacting the authority and making them aware of the situation. "We can't help if you don't let us know you need help," he said.
l approved sending letters to owners of two properties where lateral lines were disconnected stating the smoke testing showed those lines were not capped off correctly and requesting they be repaired.
The authority's next meeting is Aug. 27 at 9 a.m. at the Mahaffey Borough municipal building.