February 28 – Decatur Utilities will begin an accelerated sewer replacement plan through June, initially focusing on the Moulton Heights area, the area near Gordon Terry Parkway and Northwest Decatur near the Benjamin Davis Elementary School DU officials said last week.
The plan, which includes replacing 50,000 feet of sewer pipes at this initial stage, requires the city council to vote on March 15 on DU to purchase $ 175 million in water and sewer warrants.
To reduce sewer overflows, DU plans to use $ 165 million from the loan money on a 10-year plan to replace nearly 1 million feet of aging sewer pipes.
DU residential customers will see their wastewater bills increase by $ 12 per month from their next billing, DU spokesman Joe Holmes said. The amount will increase to $ 22 per month over three years.
The bills from industrial customers who use larger meters are also increasing. For a 6-inch meter, the access fee – a flat rate that does not depend on usage – increases from $ 575 to $ 5,000 per month. 8-inch pricing will go up from $ 700 to $ 6,000 per month.
The remaining loan will fund an approximately $ 9 million project that will replace water pipes, including some that are 85 years old, at DU’s main water treatment facility on Market Street Northeast. This work will not lead to a rate increase.
DU plans to replace approximately 300 feet of cast iron pipes and four pumps, each with a capacity of 7 million gallons per day, in the water treatment plant.
The warrants for water and wastewater revenues approved by the DU board on Thursday will go to the city council in the form of a regulation, which will be received on Monday in the first reading with a second reading and vote at the meeting on March 15.
The warrants close on March 18, according to Steve Pirkle, the utility’s chief financial officer.
Jimmy Evans, operations manager for gas, water and sewage, said if the arrest warrants were approved, DU would likely file building applications in April and construction would begin in May or June.
The story goes on
The city council approved an accelerated plan in January to replace sewer pipes over 10 years old with high-density polyethylene pipes, which could have a lifespan of up to 70 years. The old pipe, which is mostly made of clay, has deteriorated to the point where, when there is heavy rain, water seeps into the pipe and overwhelms the capacity of the sewer system.
The city has had major problems with sewer overflows, especially with heavy rainfall over the past two years. The Alabama Environmental Management Department sued the utility in 2019, asking the court to fined $ 25,000 per spill. The lawsuit cites 251 wastewater overflows from April 2014 to February 24, 2019. According to court records, the case is currently in settlement negotiations.
Evans announced to the DU board on Thursday that the city has not had any sewage overflows this year, after 15 February 2020.
Pirkle said DU set an aggregate bond rate of 1.96% on February 17, and by grabbing that date, it saved $ 400,000 from waiting another week.
– bayne.hu[email protected] or 256-340-2432. Twitter @DD_BayneHughes.