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home : news : news May 3, 2016

3/21/2013 11:43:00 AM
Lindstrom church needs quick fix in anticipation of flooding

There will be a spring thaw-- of this the congregation at St. Bridget’s Church in Lindstrom is certain. And, while many people are eager for green-up; church officials are frantically laying plans to handle a problem fully expected to materialize when the earth loosens up.

St. Bridget’s Church campus has a sump system that directs seeping underground and surface water away from the church’s main buildings, but the outflow was eliminated (disallowed) with the new highway construction in Lindstrom. There is a big need to keep this unwanted sump water moving off-site.

Complicating the issue is the fact the church parcel is a cleanup site identified by the state Pollution Control Agency as likely contaminated decades ago, before the church, when bulk fuel was stored there. Church representative Karl Kornowski attended the Chisago Lakes Joint Sewage Treatment Commission’s meeting Monday this week and asked for permission to connect sump discharge into the Lindstrom sanitary sewer line.

He said the church has retained an engineering firm and environmental services consultant to develop a “full solution” for this issue but the church is asking to use the CLJSTC pipes as a “temporary short term solution” in the meantime. CLJSTC Engineer Chuck Janski said the tests he’s been made aware of don’t contain troubling amounts of contaminants in the discharge, at about 1.2 micrograms per litre of diesel range organics, he said this level wouldn’t hinder the sewer plant’s overall operations.

But he suggested that in any agreement there should be a stipulation to test discharge water frequently, and not at the sewer commission’s expense. Commission liaison for Lindstrom Curt Flug (Joe Wishy is the second member and was absent) asked if the flow into the system will be charged to Lindstrom. “This is the first I’m hearing of this,” he added. Chairman for the CLJSTC, Center City Council liaison Mark Wolcott, commented if St. Bridget’s is draining 100 gallons a day it wouldn’t be a big cost, but 100,000 gallons a day would make a noticeable difference in the bill the commission charges to Lindstrom, which is based on flow.

Kornowski said he had no estimate yet on what to expect going into the CLJSTC pipe. He also said the church is hoping to be able to tap into clean-up or pollution abatement funds, through the state, for assistance in dealing with costs for this. Janski noted cities have been actively educating people to NOT discharge sumps into sanitary sewer systems. It eats up the treatment plant’s capacity with “clean” water, that doesn’t really need to go through the wastewater treatment plant. Janski said Lindstrom elected officials should have input before this requested short term discharge proceeds. There may even be a city ordinance against this, he added. (Lindstrom council meets tonight, March 21.)

On a motion by George McMahon, the CLJSTC members unanimously okayed moving forward on drafting an agreement allowing a six-month discharge by St. Bridget’s into the system, with a review at the end of the six months.

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AnnMarie Brink - US Bank

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