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Income surveys necessary to avoid huge sewer rate hikes

ILwatershed

Residents in and around Indian Lake are facing significant sewer rate increases, but operators of the sewer district hope a successful income survey of the area might push back the timeline and lessen the total blow.

The Environmental Protection Agency notified the Logan County Water Pollution Control District that it must be able to handle all wastewater that comes into the system even after heavy rain events adds to that total, Director Chris Clark said.

The system, which usually handles about 1 to 1.5 million gallons per day is designed for 4 million gallons, but during a heavy rain event it can exceed 18 million gallons.

Building a system that could handle 18 million gallons would probably cost between $15 million and $18 million and would raise rates for customers to $55 to $60 per month, Mr. Clark said, from the current $41.

Instead of just agreeing to build new holding tanks that will sit empty most of the time, Mr. Clark said he hopes to identify and eliminate groundwater infiltration sources.

But the first step in getting more time to correct the problems that exist in the aging system is by determining that a dramatic rate increase would be a financial hardship on Indian Lake area residents.

To that end, a random selection of Indian Lake-area customers served by the Logan County Wastewater Pollution Control District will receive income surveys which will be used by the district and the state to determine rate increases for sanitary sewer services.

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Examiner Staff Writers Joel E. Mast and Nate Smith contributed to this article.

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