Work on Tryon’s East Howard sewer line could begin any day

Published 6:31 pm Monday, March 24, 2014


The Town of Tryon has permits in hand and is ready for contractors to begin the installation of a new sewer trunk line along East Howard Street.

Tryon Town Council met Monday, March 17 and heard an update regarding the much anticipated construction of the line.

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The trunk line will be a replacement of the old line that the town had issues overflowing during heavy rains for many years.

Tryon Town Manager Joey Davis said it is his understanding the replacement will begin at the sewer plant, located at the end of East Howard Street, and work back up East Howard.

The construction is a few months late as at one time officials expected the project to begin as early as December 2013 or January 2014.

After years of searching for a solution to the problem, including many tests of the line, Tryon was approved for a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) to help pay for the costs of a new, larger line.

The total project was initially expected to be $701,907 with $537,738 coming from the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding and $164,169 coming from the town.

The town is required to pay for part of the project because the state requires the line to be replaced with a 24-inch sewer line in order to handle the flows. The grant the town was approved for only allows for construction of lines up to 12 inches.

Earlier this year, the town selected Dillard Excavating as the contractors on the project.

Tryon has fought the problem for many years with the issues coming during heavy rains.

The most problems came at one residence along East Howard Street where during heavy rains manholes in the area would overflow into the resident’s yard and for many years back up into her home.

Eunice Whitmire began coming to town council meetings to complain about the incidences at her home. The town put in temporary fixes to the problems caused at Whitmire’s home, including backflow valves and shutting off a manhole in front of her property. Nothing seemed to completely keep wastewater from backing up into her yard.

Because of the costs, town officials said it was impossible to permanently fix the problem without grant money to help.

The town conducted studies, including for inflow and infiltration, worked with the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources (NCDENR) and suffered several fines from the state because of spills and overflows.

The town and state finally determined the only permanent fix is to replace the line with a larger line.

Tryon was initially denied the grant for the CDBG funding, but state officials later received a waiver because of Tryon’s critical need.

The town has since moved Whitmire out of her residence and into a rental property until the construction of the sewer line is complete and the town determines it is safe to return.

The town did testing at Whitmire’s East Howard Street property and found bacteria prior to deciding to move her to a new location until construction is complete.