Water backup claim heard by sanitary board

WEIRTON – The Weirton Sanitary Board discussed a damage claim and possible solutions at its regular meeting Thursday.

John and Nancy Wiseman of Brightway Street filed a damage claim with the board related to water backing up into their basement repeatedly over time with heavy rain. Their next door neighbor, Mike Plesa, accompanied them to the meeting. Plesa said he’s been dealing with the same issue for 32 years since he moved into his house.

Utilities Director A.D. “Butch” Mastrantoni explained that three pipelines are leading into one at the top of the street, causing backup in the lowest elevated homes whenever there is a significant amount of water. He presented two alternatives to the board for consideration.

The first alternative was more expensive at an estimated $32,387, but Mastrantoni said it would be “a long-term fix to address the chronic nature of the problem.” That would involve installing 530 feet of 10-inch gravity pipeline to act as a “storage” area and alternative draining route for backed up water.

The second alternative was to install grinder pumps at the two residences to prevent water from backing up into those basements in particular. This would cost an estimated $22,674, but Mastrantoni said there could be downsides to that option.

“It could overwhelm the receiving manhole and just push the problem on into someone else’s home,” he said. “And if electricity goes out, the pumps stop working. They would also need to be replaced in seven to eight years anyway.”

Board members who were present voted unanimously to approve the first alternative in the hopes of solving the problem for a larger portion of the street instead of for only two houses. Mastrantoni said work will begin in about two weeks.

Mastrantoni reported that a project to correct the drainage issues at the Church of Christ on Colliers Way has been completed.

Rubble from the demolition of the Colliers Way Bridge was used to fill a washed-out valley where a main pipeline had been exposed.

A drainage collection system also was installed at the edge of the church’s parking lot.

Remaining funds out of the $10,000 that the board had allotted will be used to repair damage in the parking lot caused by heavy equipment, officials said.

Jonathan Carpenter of Thrasher Engineering updated the board about collection system improvement projects that have been ongoing.

He said that the Fifth Street lift station is now up and operational.