Tryon to target sewer problems on East Howard St.

Published 1:11 pm Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Tryon Town Council has decided to identify problems with the town’s wastewater flow, especially in the East Howard Street area.

The state fined Tryon in December last year about $7,000 for an overflow during a heavy rain.The town reported that during one event, 300,000 gallons of sewage overflowed near E. Howard Street.

Council last week agreed to apply for a $40,000 N.C. Rural Center grant to do inflow and infiltration studies throughout town, beginning in the E. Howard area. The town would be required to match the grant with $20,000, which is included in next years budget proposal.

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One area on East Howard has experienced town sewage spilling for several years. After some incidents last year, particularly in the yard of Eunice Whitmire, the town did some repairs. Officials said last week that although those repairs have fixed some issues and no overflows have occurred during recent heavy rains, they know there are still problems. Whitmire told the Bulletin last year that she had had sewage in her yard for years. She said it came up through a manhole during heavy rains.

The N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has been involved in working with the town, but has told Tryon that any more issues will result in further fines.

Essentially were going to have to fix it because were going to be fined, Tryon Mayor Alan Peoples said last week. (DENR has) already told us that.

If the town is approved for the grant, inflow and infiltration studies will be done in the area along with as many other areas as funding allows. Tryon Public Works Director Joel Burrell said the studies will use smoke testing and cameras to locate the problems.

Town council said once problems are located, they could create a capital improvement plan to provide funding to repair the problems.