The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

July 10, 2013

Recent rain causes sewer issues in Conneaut homes

City will check to see if municipal lines are problem

Star Beacon

CONNEAUT — Administrators in Conneaut will check to see if municipal pipes may be to blame for filling basements in some neighborhoods with sewage after recent heavy rains.

Several people at Monday’s City council talked of unsanitary conditions and heavy damage caused by basement flooding that followed heavy rains last week. Some residents became emotional describing the foul results of the flooding.

“I lost everything,” said Susan Kelley of Mill Street.

Many homes in north Conneaut neighborhoods, especially in the area of Mill and Sandusky streets, sustained some basement flooding, officials said.

City Manager Tim Eggleston said he would ask CT Consultants, the city’s engineering firm, to investigate the situation. Councilman-at-large John Roach, a former director of the city’s Public Works Department, wondered if some storm sewer and sanitary sewer lines in those areas had somehow become intertwined.

“A smoke test may discover some downspouts are connected to sanitary sewers instead of storm sewers,” he said.

Water that infiltrates sanitary pipes in some of the city’s older neighborhoods has been a problem for many years.

John Ericksen of Dean Avenue said he has lived in his house for 37 years, and flooding had become a problem only during the past two years. The recent storm put some 18 inches of water in his basement, he said.

Ward 4 Councilman Thomas Kozesky vouched for the claims that flooding is something new.

“I grew up in that neighborhood,” he said. “I can’t remember problems like we have now.”

Other parts of town were submerged by the rain, indicating drainage problems, councilmen said.

Eggleston said people who sustained property damage as a result of flooding should submit documents to the city’s finance department, which in turn will relay the information to the city’s insurance carrier for review. There are no guarantees of reimbursement, however, he said.

Claims will also help the city get an idea of the extent of the flooding, Eggleston said. “It will he

In other business, council agreed to place a five-year, 2.75-mill levy on the November ballot for street and road repairs. The levy would raise an estimated $487,000 a year strictly for the purchase of material for use on paved streets and unpaved roads. A 10-year street levy was narrowly defeated last fall. Eggleston has said voters indicated they would support a levy of shorter duration.