By Paul MacDonald
PEPPERELL -- The Highway Division deployed sophisticated ground penetrating radar along the sewer line trench of the Indian Village sewer extension project to identify any problem areas as a result of a "higher than normal trench settlement" along one section of the project.
"The preliminary observations from the field indicated there were no areas really suspect that would warrant further significant attention," said DPW Director Kenneth Kalinowski.
The uneven settlement of a portion of the trench was due to unusually dry weather. Any repairs that are required will be performed this year and ahead planned repaving in 2013.
With Chapter 90 highway paving money on its way, Kalinowski advised the board of paving plans for later this year and into the spring including East Street from Lowell Road to the Dunstable Town line, Mill Street to Hollis Street and Nashua Street, Lowell Road from East Street to the Dunstable town line, Brookline Street from the pump station to the "farm" area, Chestnut Street from Bayberry to the Townsend town line, a portion Hollis Street, and Indian Village.
A scaled down demo unit of a Huber screw press used for dewatering sludge at the Waste Water Treatment Plant was in operation at the end of June.
"Our preliminary in-house observations was that the device was capable of creating a cake with upwards of 25 percent solids versus a typical 13-15 percent from the current
A final report is due from the manufacturer soon. The cake is also being evaluated for composting to see what the impact is on the decomposition process.
"That unit, if we were to go down that road, could have some significant impacts on operations in the future. But it remains to be seen whether that is the way we should be going," said Kalinowski who noted that the EPA NPDES (National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System) permit will be a determining factor.
Finalization of the contract with National Grid to relocate the pole and wires on Jersey Street is close at hand. The $53,395 project is approximately $25,000 less than the estimates provided to the town last year.
"We're confident that we can get that done this fall," said Kalinowski.
The Water Division conducted an extensive leak detection of the distribution system over the past couple of weeks. Utilizing acoustic detection equipment, a total of six leaks were identified accounting for an estimated 27,000 gallons per day. According to Kalinowski four of the six leaks were occurring at hydrants.
Although an odd-even water ban remains in effect throughout the town, Kalinowski expressed confidence that the water supplies were remaining at acceptable levels.
"I'm not even at this point the least bit worried," said Kalinowski.
"At this point I've not heard any indication that we need to think about implementing a full mandatory outdoor water use ban as we have in the past," he said.
Kalinowski also mentioned that the latest version of the Water Division's billing software has been installed and this will enable issuing quarterly bills rather than bi-annual bills. He noted that all of the enterprise funds were "in the black" for 2012.
The board approved a combined water and sewer Drainlayer's License for Kennelly Construction Corp.
The board also acknowledged the contributions to the town, and in particular the DPW, of Administrative Assistant Cathy Knox who celebrated her25th anniversary as a town employee this month.