Village sanitary sewer problems cannot be blamed on Monday's weather
The board has no choice but to take swift action and hire a private contractor, as well as have workers of the Village of Lancaster Department of Public Works (DPW), out at the scene pumping from night till morning to prevent homeowners from seeing their basements flood.
“It is going to be an expensive repair today, unfortunately,” remarked Village of Lancaster Mayor William G. Cansdale, Jr., at which time he was unable to provide an estimate of cost.
Crews were out working behind Empire Automotive, where they found a section of the sewer clogged, 25-feet below the ground, on the east side of Cayuga Creek near the bridge on Broadway.
“They are going to be out there pumping all night in order to keep basements from flooding on Park Boulevard, Colonial Avenue, and Cayuga Avenue,” remarked Cansdale. “So, they have to pump all the sewage down far enough that the workers can get in there and get this mess out of there.”
It is most likely a restaurant in the village that is not properly disposing of the grease, said Cansdale.
“There are rules that regulate the disposal of grease,” said Cansdale. “You have to have it picked up. This is an ongoing situation and it has been a problem for some time and what happens is they try to save some money so they pour the grease into the sewers and it congeals and collects and creates a problem.”
Cansdale clarified that this time the sewer backup is not related to the weather in anyway, as there have problems in the past with the system backing up because of heavy rain.
Usually, to clear a clog a sewer jet would have been used to try to blast it out, but according to Cansdale, it was so congealed and so much has collected that the sewer jets were useless.
DPW employees walked door-to-door Monday informing those neighborhoods affected of the potential situation, said Cansdale. Homeowners were told that they should be prepared for flooding in their basements if their pumping efforts were not sufficient.
At the meeting, Cansdale said the DPW was on top of it and no problems had arisen yet.
In the meantime, because this is not the first time the village has experienced this problem and the use of temporary solutions are tiresome, Village of Lancaster Code Enforcement Officer George Pease was instructed to check all the businesses that might be located on the sewer main. If they generate any kind of cooking oil or grease he will be making sure they are disposing of it properly and not down the drain.
“We are longing for a long term solution,” commented Cansdale.
In other village news:
• A public hearing to determine the outcome of the property located at 69/71 Livingston Ave., will be held June 25. Pease said the structure on the property has been deemed unsafe and dangerous to the public, according to village code. The structure may also be unfit for human occupancy under the Property and Maintenance Code of New York State.
• The board appointed Scott Kuhlmey to the position of fire chief.
• John Hughey’s application of membership to Lancaster’s Rescue, Hook & Ladder Fire Company, was approved.
• Mayor Cansdale was authorized to sign and execute an agreement with Donald Gallo, consulting engineer, P.C. for engineering services related to the Como Park Boulevard/Christen Court area sanitary sewer replacement project.
The next Village of Lancaster Board meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Monday, May 14 in the Municipal Building Council Chambers, 5423 Broadway, Lancaster.