Snow, cold causing issues with Slatington sewer plant
The continuing cold weather, and a continuing lack of meeting minutes posted online, were main topics of discussion at this week's Slatington Borough Authority meeting.
Visitor Kris Burek, a former borough councilwoman, asked authority members why their meetings' minutes were not yet being placed on the borough's website. She said she had asked borough council "some time ago" why it was not putting the authority's meeting minutes on its website.
"And I understand, shortly after that, you folks took a vote and approved posting the meeting minutes on their website," she told the authority.
She then added that she had brought up the topic again at a council meeting in December, but did not receive an answer.
"Has anyone followed up with council as to why these meeting minutes are not going up on their website?" Burek asked.
Some authority members said they had not yet checked on the status of the authority's minutes being placed online while others said they were not aware of the issue.
Burek then offered to place the authority's meeting minutes on her own website.
The authority said it will check into the status of having its minutes placed on the borough website.
In regard to the recent cold weather, sewer plant operator Stefan Myers made several announcements.
"You're gonna blow the BOD (biochemical oxygen demand) again this month," he said, noting that "just with the snow melting, the flow is two times what it normally is."
President William Stein later explained that biochemical oxygen demand is an important measure of water quality used to gauge the effectiveness of wastewater treatment plants. The tests are performed at the plant and must be reported to the Environmental Protection Agency, which can then impose a fine if measurement levels are found to be too high.
Stein noted that, because of this winter's extremely high water runoff, more storm water is entering the sewer pipes, thus causing BOD problems.
In addition to other weather-related problems he noted at the plant, Myers said it had been so cold in January that a pipe that had been leaking on a digester had frozen, thus leading to higher gas pressure in a digester and the need to take off its pressure relief valve.
"It's been a brutal two months," Special Projects Engineer Ted Stevenson agreed.
Stein noted that a lot of recently scheduled repairs at the plant have been put on hold due to the recent cold, snowy and icy weather.