Officials say overflow problem under control

WEIRTON – The city is on its way to achieving compliance with state and federal sewage regulations, Utilities Director A.D. “Butch” Mastrantoni said Monday.

Mastrantoni told council members they’ve “had significant progress” with overflow problems at the Fifth Street lift station.

Phase I of the city’s $6 million sewage overhaul involved laying about 4,700 lineal feet of gravity sewer to route sanitary flow from roughly 1,000 structures along Pennsylvania Avenue and nearby neighborhoods up old Main Street to the 5th Street Lift Station.

Mastrantoni told council they’d “made the connection to divert flow from the 1,000 structures” to the lift station and at this point, “our sanitary flow is not flowing back into the Ohio River.”

While he said they still could have the occasional overflow, for the most part the problems are under control.

“It’s going to the Fifth Street lift station (which is) working good most of the time,” he said.

But the problems won’t be totally eliminated until Phase II, which involves taking sanitary flow from the lift station through a new 16-inch main all the way to the Freedom Way treatment plant about six miles away, where it will be properly treated and then released into the Ohio River.

“Phase II will (bring) a permanent solution,” Mastrantoni said.

The work was necessitated by the discovery more than two years ago of abnormally high levels of fecal coliforms in what was supposed to be industrial process water. While fecal levels had always been monitored by millworkers, it wasn’t until the steelmaker began removing unneeded structures in the north end and their industrial runoff volumes diminished that they realized the numbers were out of the norm.

In other action, council signed off on a $15,088,365 general fund and coal severance budget for year 2013-14 fiscal year.

“It’s been a month, month-and-a-half process,” Mayor George Kondik said. “But the budget is balanced for 2013-14, and I’d like to thank everybody for doing it.”

Kondik also introduced George Zevios, statewide winner of the “If I Were Mayor” contest.

The city and First Choice America FCU had sponsored the local contest, sending the essays submitted by the three local winners plus all of the other children who had entered the contest to the state for judging.

Zevios was chosen from the statewide field.

Council, meanwhile, also agreed to add a 20-foot yellow line and install a no parking sign across from a driveway at 343 Orr St. on an emergency basis, and removed a handicapped space at 4114 Brooke St. that’s no longer needed.

Council also approved the purchase of equipment and professional services for a server upgrade, agreed to put a lien against a property on Orchard that’s slated for demolition and agreed to purchase gear lockers for the fire department.