Aerial scenes of Central Ave business district downtown Middletown

Pipe replacement at Forest Hills Country Club to cost up to $1M in Middletown

Last week, Middletown City Council agreed with city officials and approved an emergency ordinance to replace that section of line with 48-inch diameter pipe near Hole No. 2 at the Forest Hills Country Club and have Howell Contractors, Inc. replace the pipe for up to $1 million.

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Acting City Manager Susan Cohen said the new collapses were found the week of May 18 following a large storm that produced more than five inches of rain. Officials said since the bypass pumping was already set up for the earlier replacement of 875 feet of pipe, it was recommended to replace the additional 650 feet rather than a spot repair at this complex location.

Additional collapses in the North Interceptor sewer line has forced Middletown to replace another 650 feet of the line that goes through Forest Hills Country Club. The city felt it would be better to replace the collapsed line rather than do a spot repair. City Council approved the project and the cost is not to exceed $1 million. Earlier this year, the city replaced 875 feet of the interceptor line. The costs to replace the line will count towards the city’s consent decree requirements to improve the sewer system. CONTRIBUTED/CITY OF MIDDLETOWN
Photo: Staff Writer

In addition, officials said replacing the collapsed pipe would avoid having to return at a later date to do a full replacement. Officials also said the property owner preferred the replacement to be completed now to avoid future impact to their operations.

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The repair is expected to take four to five weeks to complete, weather permitting, according to city officials. The funds for the additional section of sewer line will come from the Sewer Capital Reserve Fund appropriation for 2020.

Howell Contractors replaced 875 feet of pipe for the North Interceptor line after a collapse happened on March 2.

In addition, the costs of this project will count toward Middletown’s consent decree requirements as part of its 25-year $269 million Long Term Control Plan with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

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Under the agreement, the city will construct storage basins and other improvements to its sewer system and sewage treatment plant over 25 years that will reduce the frequency and volume of its untreated sewer overflows. In December 2017, Middletown City Council approved the proposed consent decree with the EPA. That settlement was finalized by the federal government in the U.S. District Court in Cincinnati in early 2018.

According to the EPA, the city discharged millions of gallons of untreated sewage each year from its sewer system during and after rain events through its eight “combined sewer overflow” outfalls. Untreated sewage can contain disease-causing bacteria, viruses and parasites, as well as pollutants that can harm aquatic life.

Scott Tadych, public works/utilities director, said the first LTCP project is nearing completion, the estimated $2.71 million project that included a new water main, curbs, sidewalks and storm sewer on Sheldon Road between Kenwood and Santa Fe drives as well as a new playground and other renovations at Sunset Park.

Tadych said the $10 million to $12 million Lakeside Stormwater Redirection Project is next on the list of projects in the Long Term Control Plan was identified to reduce the storm water contribution to the combined sewer system from the Lakeside drainage area.

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