Since the sewer expansion began in Fyffe, Alabama as it extends into the Sherwood Estates community, growing concerns prompted the town to hold a Q&A session between representatives from the town, from Bolt Construction, Ladd Engineering, and others involved in the project.
The project was first mentioned when residents in the area complained of worsening septic problems. Soil tests confirmed an unhealthy level of contamination. In the spring or summer of ’09, Mayor Katy Woodall went door to door collecting income information for a survey that would determine if Fyffe would qualify for a grant to help bring a sewer system to it’s residents. Fyffe did end up qualifying for the grant.
A community meeting concerning the Fyffe sewer expansion held in May of ’09 was one that a great number of residents had no idea about. That was just one of the concerns addressed in the community meeting last night.
Other concerns which were answered by representatives
If the new pump is tying into a home’s electricity, how much more power will it be using?
Even though there were residents that disagreed with the answer based on the power to run the pump, the representative stated that it would use no more electricity than a coffee maker.
If the pump malfunctions or fails, will we have to bear the financial burden of having to repair or replace the pump?
No. It will be the water board’s responsibility.
Who is responsible for determining if the property is restored properly?
That will fall on Ladd. It was mentioned in the meeting that the best way to make that determination is to take pictures of your property now, before the major part of the work goes in, so if it isn’t restored properly, you’ll have the correct documentation.
How will this work?
After the lines have been buried (which is currently in process), there will be a hole dug near your septic tanks where the pump will be buried. From there, they will have a certified electrician come to put in the necessary equipment to tie the pump into your electricity.
What if my breaker box isn’t suitable or there’s not room for it to be wired in?
Then it will be up to you to pay for an electrician to come out and make it suitable. This can run upwards of $1000 or more. One resident mentioned that contacting Sand Mountain Electric Coop to come out and run a separate breaker circuit would be a better option financially as it would cost maybe around the area of $300 instead of over $1000. Even though both options are expensive and in these hard economic times, not everyone has that kind of money to just shell out, the representative said that an electrical problem isn’t all that common. It would be a “wait and see” for residents.
What happens to my septic tank?
The septic tank will be pumped out, collapsed, and filled in with dirt.
What if the power goes off?
Because the pump will not work without power, you won’t have sewer service for the duration of the power outage.
In that case, why can’t I keep my septic system as a backup if the power goes out?
It’s possible to install a 3 way brass valve that you can switch from one system to the other in those cases but it wasn’t in the original plans and will have to be discussed further. The cost offset from destroying septic tanks to buying extra equipment will have to be determined.
What if I don’t want my washer line tied into it?
If it is possible to tie it in, it will have to be tied in, regardless.
What if I want to opt out of tying into the system?
If it is possible to opt out (and it may not be), if you opt out now and decide to tie into the system later, you will have to pay for the cost to have someone come out and hook you up.
Other concerns that weren’t answered
Originally, there was also supposed to be a representative from the Waterworks Board of Section, who owns the system in Fyffe, to be there to answer questions but with no prior word of why, no such representative showed for the meeting and many residents stated that in calling the water board, their questions have been avoided. Some of these concerns were about the cost of service, whether it was mandatory to tie in to the system, whether it would be a flat rate or a percentage of the water bills, whether it would go up periodically, or whether residents who opted out of hooking up (if they could) to the system would be required to pay for a service they don’t use. Most of these questions could only be answered by a water board representative.
The Fyffe Town Council meeting is held every 2nd Monday of each month at 6:30pm. Next Monday, September 13, 2010, the mayor has stated that she will continue to try to get the representative from the water board out to answer these questions and address other residents’ concerns with the council.
To read more about the subject, visit this post on the DeKalb County Examiner website.
Source: Attendance of the Sherwood Estates community meeting, sewer expansion Q&A, September 9, 2010, 5pm, Fyffe Municipal Complex.