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Monday October 22, 2018

smoke creates stink at library

Wednesday, October 10, 2018 17:24 PM
Written by Stan Maddux
Category: Local News

Ongoing smoke testing of sewer lines throughout the city raised a stink at the library in New Buffalo.

According to police, the fire department October 8 was called about 11:30 a.m. to the library on a report of a possible fire.

Smoke was filling up the basement.

Quickly, though, it was discovered the smoke being pumped into the lines somehow found its way into the library.

Police said the fire department ventilated the structure to make it safe again for occupancy.

New Buffalo City Manager David Richards said the purpose of the smoke testing is to find cracks or breaks in sewer lines where ground water might be getting in.

Another reason is to find homes and other structures with sump pumps and roof drains connected to sewer lines, he said.

Richards said clean water in sewer lines costs the city because of fees paid to the Galien River Sanitary District for every gallon filtering into the treatment plant from lines that should carry only sewage.

''We're paying to treat storm water that should be going into the storm system,'' Richards said.

After the testing ends October 24, Richards said permission will be sought from the city council to ask property owners with drain lines tied to sewers to disconnect.

They can either reconnect to a storm sewer or allow those lines to empty into their yards, he said.

Richards said it's the first time smoke testing is being used in New Buffalo to find storm drains connected to sewers.

''We're just trying to do what's fiscally responsible and that's not spending money on storm water that should go into the lake,'' he said.

Leaks in the system will also be marked for repair in the future.
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