SACKETS HARBOR Village officials are moving cautiously as they look for a permanent fix to a broken sewer outfall.
The 140-foot outfall broke in February following a failure in the coupling of the pipe. Village engineer Kris D. Dimmick told the village Board of Trustees that a reason had not been determined for the failure, though speculation is that rough waters and high winds may have been a factor. The sewer outfall is where clean, treated water is returned to Lake Ontario.
With the broken pipe, treated sewage water is releasing closer to shore, going against state Department of Environmental Conservation rules. Though the water is not considered a threat to public health, its high levels of proteins could create issues for wildlife if not diluted in deeper waters.
Mr. Dimmick noted that the release of water near the shoreline was similar to how treated water was released at the villages previous sewage treatment facility.
To satisfy DEC, the village could either fix and extend the outfall pipe or commit to additional treatment of sewage water, a more costly and resource intensive option.
The villages plans are to install new piping to replace the failed section, which would both be heavier yet allow for some flexibility to adjust for rough water, possibly through the installation of ductile iron in the new portion.
Weve made significant changes from the original design, Mr. Dimmick said.
In addition to adding more stability, the plan would call for the pipe to be extended about 10 to 20 feet.
Repairs to the outfall are estimated to cost about $82,000, with the village responsible for payment of about $52,000, primarily to cover new materials.
Our goal is not to have to go back and do this again, Mr. Dimmick said.
However, the plan received some questions from the short-handed board at its monthly meeting Tuesday night.
Village Trustee John W. LaDuc asked whether a second opinion could be made available, noting his concerns that the system could fail in the subdued weather of this past winter.
I dont feel comfortable moving forward with a solution until we know what went wrong, he said.
Mr. Dimmick said at the meeting that the villages reports of its progress would keep it in line with DEC regulators.
The board tabled a decision on moving forward with repair work until a second opinion could be obtained. Mr. Dimmick said the issue could be followed up at the villages meeting in July.