Results of a recent flow monitoring report evaluated by borough engineers Lehigh Engineering was a main topic of discussion at the Slatington Sewer Authority meeting Monday at the borough hall.
Mike Kuklis, of Lehigh Engineering, presented each authority member with a copy of graphs detailing results logged from the electronic flow meters, which were installed in individual manholes. He noted that an original study was done in 2008, prior to the sanitary sewer improvements project, and then, after the project was completed, a new study was conducted this year from April 12 to May 22. Results of each monitored location for both years were shown on the data summary.
"Unfortunately for us in 2013," Kuklis said, "we only had one significant rainfall event that dropped approximately .92 inches at one point in time. The remainder of the rainfall through that period, unfortunately, was below the threshold of about three-quarters of an inch."
Kuklis explained that a certain amount of rain during a storm is needed in order to help determine if there are infiltration and inflow issues from either manhole interception or from lateral interception. Sump pumps routed into sewer systems and basement floor drains could also be contributing factors, the committee added.
After the meeting, Kuklis noted that, "When I look at this, I see a relatively similar pattern until we get a rainfall event that's above a certain number. And then, all of a sudden, these flows that were now in this range (lower) are now up in this range."
Kuklis pointed out that, if these spikes in the flow are caused mainly from rainwater, then the wastewater treatment plant is treating not just sewage but also ground water. This requires the plant to use more chemicals to treat that extra water, which ends up costing more money and also does not adhere to proper conservation, he said.
Later in the meeting, a change in the proposed budget for 2014 was also discussed. Treasurer Anthony Gnas suggested the authority up its budget above the expected amount so as to accommodate possible unforeseen expenses. However, assistant secretary Scott Schuckert warned the authority should not go too far over its actual, projected numbers.
It was decided to consider slightly higher amounts over the next month and then vote on the new budget at the authority's next monthly meeting on Monday, Nov. 25, when more members would be present.