City of Wheaton looks at $62,000 DNR grant for sewer system

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

City would be responsible for $12,500 if approved

The city of Wheaton has decided to look into a Department of Natural Resources grant that was brought to its attention so officials can find out where some water loss is happening.

Joshua Kinnaman, city of Wheaton utilities supervisor, said if the city approves it, the DNR grant is for $62,000 worth of work, and the city would only be responsible for $12,500 of that total cost.

“TREKK Design Group, LLC came to me and said that if it is approved, they would be doing the sewer inspection,” he said. “We have so much inflow and infiltration problems, which is when it rains the stormwater gets into our sewer system.”

Kinnaman said doing this inspection would show him where all of the cracks and leaks are in the system.

“We end up using so much electricity because the pumps have to work so hard to make up for the extra water,” he said. “We do upgrades and renovations on the parts that we are aware of and try to fix the issue, but we haven’t had a big overhaul and inspection to find all the problems yet.”

Kinnaman said the stormwater getting into the sewer system is the biggest issue the city has right now.

“We are trying to save money by finding out where all of the leaks are and where the water is coming in,” he said.

Kinnaman said he spoke with a man recently who said he would write up the grant, but he won’t know for a little while if they get approved for it.

“If we get approved for the grant and the city approves the $12,500 cost to us, we will get it done,” he said. “Also, there is no obligation to do any certain project after the inspection is done. It will just show us where the issues are so we can fix them.”

Jerry McBride, city of Wheaton part-time maintenance employee, said the city of Wheaton sewer system was installed in 1960s.

“There haven’t been any serious upgrades made since then,” he said. “In 1999, we did some upgrading on the lagoon and put in an irrigation system.”

McBride said if this grant is approved, officials will be able to get evaluations of the collection system to find the weak spots.

“The biggest advantage to having this done is to continue to do maintenance on the sewer system to make it better,” he said.

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