Leaky Sewers Lead to Higher Bay Rate Bills

Bay Village residents are facing a sewer rate increase to about $335 from the current annual rate of $260.

Sewer usage was the main focus of a Town Meeting held at the Dwyer Center Monday night. Engineer Robert Greytak and new Bay Service Director Scott Thomas reported the increase is based on increased flow from Bay to the wastewater treatment plant shared with Westlake, Rocky River and Fairview Park.

“There are issues that face this city as well as many other cities. The aging infrastructure is the biggest reason for the increase,” said Thomas.

Greytak shared a power-point presentation that compared flows from the four towns. “Most flow from Bay Village to the Waste Water Treatment Plant is from clean water,” said Greytak. He showed a chart indicating that up to 71 per cent of Bay’s contribution to the plant comes from clean water.

That means infrastructure problems are the culprit in the aging community system. Even though Bay separated sewer flows into individual sanitary and storm lines years ago, there is probable infiltration along the lines. Most of this infiltration may be on homeowner property, where original single lines were divided into separate sanitary and storm networks.

“Clean water shouldn’t even have to be treated, but you are paying for that much to be treated because it enters the system,” said Greytak. At 1.8 gallons per day times 6435 homes in Bay, 16.7 million gallons of water per day enter the flow. And, even though Bay represents just 19 per cent of the WWTP service area, it accounts for 25 per cent of the cost.

Thomas and Greytak have reservations about the accuracy of the flow study used for the calculations. They believe Bay’s responsibility may be overstated. They plan to ask for a revised estimate based on a different flow calculation sewer location near Clague Road.

“But this used to be a combined waste and storm sewer system,”said Greytak about Bay’s homes. “There were joints sometimes every two feet and they leak like sieves. It is a lot of water when you add up all the houses. There are a lot of houses that let clean water get into the sanitary system.”

Coming will be repairs to a Lake Road pump station, an attempt to track down leaks, and a comprehensive city-wide approach to impact corrections that will include looking into loan funding.

“We have a bunch of determined people who are going to do the best for you,” said Thomas.


Town Meeting

Attended by about 200 residents, the Town Meeting also gave City Council members a chance to summarize committee highlights:

– Steve Lee (Environment Committee): A “Do Not Knock’ list will be activated this spring, giving residents a chance to be spared from door-to-door solicitations. Apply through the Police Dept. or on-line. New Bike ordinances now bring Bay’s code in line with state law. Riders can use all streets and sidewalks with certain limitations.

– Tom Henderson & Dave Tadych (Public Improvements, Recreation):  New green tech lights are now installed at Hartman Field. Slides at Bay Pool will be re-surfaced and wi-fi will be available at the pool. A city wide survey this spring will determine resident wishes for recreation infrastructure. Street resurfacing this summer will include Osborn from Bradley to Cahoon, Wolf to Cahoon, and Naigle to the Bradley bridge. Columbia and Cahoon starting at the tracks if there is money left.

– Dwight Clark (Finance): 2015 budget will be in place by the end of the year. All 5 Bay bargaining units and health coverages are in place through 2015.


Bradley Bay Health Center

A number of residents expressed concern over a wooded area behind Bradley Bay Health Center that has been cleared. Bradley Bay has released plans for an assisted living expansion on its site. Site plans also include a cul-de-sac with nine sublots at the end of Crestview Road. It was noted that the entire site had to be cleared at this time because of EPA guidelines regarding the migration of Indiana Fruit Bats in May.