Plumbing problems nag Manchester sewage plant Facility's pipes rise from ground NORTH -- Manchester * Hampstead * Lineboro

August 11, 1993|By Katherine Richards | Katherine Richards,Staff Writer

Manchester is trying to sort out problems plaguing its $4 million, state-of-the-art sewage treatment plant, which began operating in March.

The facility disperses treated sewage effluent by spraying it over 70 acres of reed canary grass, where it acts as a fertilizer and the plants filter out some components of the effluent.

"Some of [the pipes] have heaved up out of the ground" by six or eight inches, said Town Manager Terry L. Short. "We're trying to figure out what the causes of the problems are."

The town is managing to get rid of its waste, because two of the seven spray fields at the plant still are operating. Because the weather has been relatively dry, those two fields have not been overtaxed, Mr. Short said.

If the weather had been very wet, he said, "We'd have had big problems."

Manchester, at its current population, needs about 3 1/2 of the fields to handle the amount of effluent generated, he said.

On Friday, representatives of the town of Manchester met with the engineers who designed the plant, the construction firm that built it and the company that inspected it, to discuss the problem.

Mr. Short said a committee of representatives of the firms and the town will begin diagnosing the problem as soon as replacement parts arrive. The parts should arrive next week, he said.

Manchester had hoped to make money from the sale of the plant's reed canary grass crop. That now appears unlikely, Mr. Short said.

But he said 30 acres of alfalfa not dependent on effluent spraying have done so well that sale of the alfalfa should make up for the lost reed canary grass crop.

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