City sewer overflows reported

Rains impact system. Recent heavy rains that fell on Sparta have caused problems for the city’s sewer system with several overflows reported to Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation. Olof Fornehed, public works director, addressed Sparta Board of Mayor and Aldermen at the March 27, 2011, meeting. “When the ground is saturated like it is now, it doesn’t take very much rain for the sewer to start acting up again,” said Fornehed. During the past two weeks, Fornehed reported 31 overflows in the sewer system to TDEC. “Some of those, of course, are just continuous overflows because we have to report every 24 hours,” said Fornehed. According to Fornehed, sewer lines on Turntable Road stayed at the “overflowing” stage 10 straight days. “When that happens, a lot of debris gets flushed down the lines, too,” said Fornehed “We get a lot of storm water in the sewer system, and that’s a big part of this problem. In other public works department business, Fornehed talked about replacing water lines at the intersection of Taft Church Road and Highway 111. These lines carry water to Murphy gas station, Regas Shell, Wal-Mart and the strip mall where Subway and several others business are located. In the summer of 2010, the road caved in and caused a huge sinkhole. “When TDOT came in to repair it, they found the water leak,” said Fornehed. “We tried to spot-dig to find this leak, but it’s obviously under the road and also inside the casing that runs under the road. So we can’t get to it to repair it.” Fornehed said the less costly way to remedy the problem is to install new waterlines beside the old ones. The old lines are approximately 30 years old. Fornehed said the projected cost is $85,000. In addition, the old lines can serve as a backup if there was a malfunction with the newer lines at any point. Customers who are hooked onto these waterlines are expected to experience only a few hours of interrupted service during installation, instead of several weeks of interruptions if repairs had been attempted on the old lines. Fornehed said the new lines would be housed in steel casings, which are less affected by movement of traffic. There will not be an “open cut” across the road. Workers will bore under the road and insert the casing. “If something happens again, the pipe can be slid out of that casing and replaced,” said Fornehed. Fornehed said it’s imperative to proceed with the project as soon as possible because of the constant water leak, as well as the possibility the road will cave in a second time. A motion was made and seconded to advertise for bids on the project. As a final order of business, the mayor said he has been planning several events for City of Sparta. In addition to Liberty Square Celebration and Sonic Cruise-in, which are conducted annually, the mayor has scheduled a gospel singing at Sparta Amphitheater for May 1, 2011. Then, on July 24, 2011, the well-known Southern gospel group, The Chuckwagon Gang, will be performing at the amphitheater. Young also discussed possibly reviving the “Movies under the Stars” event that had originally been a project conducted by Sparta Downtown Business Association. “We’re going to help the downtown area as much as we can,” said Young. “We’re going to start playing bluegrass music on The Square in the afternoons and on Saturdays – try to generate a little more traffic in the downtown area.” Sparta Board of Mayor and Aldermen meets at 5 p.m., the first and third Thursdays, at Sparta City Hall. The next meeting will be April 7, 2011. ((21 MAR 2011))





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