Heavy rains into the creek flooded the treatment facility three times last year.
By BOB JACKSON
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
EAST PALESTINE -- Bids will be opened next week for a project that officials hope will eliminate flooding at the city's sewage treatment plant.
The project includes widening Leslie Run Channel where the creek approaches the treatment plant as well as rebuilding the channel's reinforcing walls, said City Manager Gary Clark.
He said the creek, which bisects the plant, was narrowed from 40 feet to about 20 feet in the 1920s when the treatment plant was built.
In the 1930s, stone walls were built along the sides of the narrow section of the channel. Clark said those walls eroded over the years, so iron sheet piling was installed along the creek walls in 1989.
Causes for overflows
When heavy rains hit the area last fall, some of the sheet piling came loose and became wedged crosswise in the creek, acting as a dam and causing the area near the treatment plant to flood.
The treatment plant was flooded three times last year because of heavy storms.
Clark said funneling the creek down to half its natural width also created increased pressure, which contributed to periodic flooding over the years. That's why the narrow portion of the channel will be expanded to its original 40-foot width as part of the project.
"When you eliminate that bottleneck, you eliminate the acceleration," he said.
Precast concrete walls will be installed along the sides of the widened creek channel, and a new bridge will be built to replace a dilapidated one that crosses the creek at the treatment plant.
Clark said bids won't be opened until Sept. 15, so he's not sure how much the project will cost but estimated it will be between $500,000 and $750,000.