EAST PALESTINE — A change to an infrastructure project has an added benefit of preparing the village for future growth.
That change is the replacement of a siphon currently located near the park that is part of the sanitary sewer system.
Council members were briefed on the project with MS Consultants engineer Joe Leson during a utility meeting before last week’s council meeting.
Replacing the siphon is part of the village’s $7.84 million project to improve the sanitary sewer system to satisfy an Ohio Environmental Protection Agency mandate from 2011 after residents in a portion of the village complained about overflows into their basements.
The bulk of the project is the construction of a million-gallon equalization basin.
Leson and village officials believe that a new, better siphon will also help alleviate problems in the system.
“We really feel like this is an important part of the project,” Village Manager Pete Monteleone said.
Original plans called for improvements to the existing siphon.
Leson said that instead, a new siphon has been designed that has larger capacity. The new siphon would consist of three 15-inch pipes as opposed to the existing siphon’s two 14-inch pipes.
John Jurjavcic, who is the water operator in charge, said the larger siphon is nice to have in place for the future.
“What is nice about this is that if you get growth down the road you already have pipe in place,” he said, referring to the third pipe.
The siphon will add $175,000 to the project cost, however, Leson said that due to a decrease in anticipated contingencies as the project moves forward, the village likely won’t see that much of a difference.
“The overall project cost is pretty close to the same with the siphon in there,” he said, noting that construction cost would not change.
The existing siphon will remain in service while the new one is being constructed, he added.
“The idea is to alleviate a lot of the flooding upstream. It’s not a fix-all. You still could have things happening and bubbling out of your system that are still not able to get to the siphon. You are just front-loading it now to have the infrastructure later,” Leson said.
Councilman Doug Simpson said that he believes the new siphon will alleviate flooding in some other areas of the village.