Mayor clears the air on sewage issues

Eric McCarthy
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ALBERTON -- Mayor Michael Murphy emphasized during the December meeting of Alberton Council Monday night that the town’s sewer system was not at fault for two sewage complaints that gathered so much attention during council’s November meeting. 

The matter came to a head after the town’s sewer committee chair Natasha Dunn sought provincial expertise in resolving a persistent issue of sewer gases in a Main Street property. Mayor Murphy insisted last month that Dunn had overstepped her boundaries in not involving town administration, as he indicated the town had already determined the problem in the household was not caused by the town’s system.

Later in the November meeting owners of an Elder Street property complained about a backflow into their finished basement.

Both issues were subsequently investigated further and Murphy reported the results Monday night. He said an engineer ruled out the sewer system as the cause of the sewer gases in the Main Street property and advised the owner to get the lines within her home inspected for the likely cause.

A report from the Elder Street property indicated the lateral line from the house to the main line had only a 0.2 per cent grade when it should have had a minimum grade of 2.0 per cent. As well, a toilet had been installed in the basement below grade, making the home susceptible to backflow. Recommendations were provided to the homeowner for correcting the problem, he reported. They included reinstalling the service to the house at a two per cent grade and a small residential sewage lift system for the basement fixture. The town has since replaced its line to the lateral and is leaving it up the homeowner to address work within the home. 

Geographic location: Elder Street

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