Sewer Extension Nears Completion
Those who live along the west side of Chautauqua Lake between the BOCES School and Stow will soon be experiencing what it means to be attached to a public sewer system. It is estimated that sewer service will begin during June.
The most recent activity has been in the Stow area. Sewer and electric lines have been installed, which means that ditches and road cuts have been made. This, in turn, because of the warm winter, has resulted in some fairly muddy roads in places. That will soon be behind us as Spring comes, the ground dries out, and restoration begins.
Unlike a gravity sewer system, these new sewers will be operated under pressure generated by pump/grinder stations which will serve one or two homes. The pumps, of course, require electricity and so electric lines are being buried along the route of the sewer line itself. Because the system is pressurized, the diameter of the pipes required is smaller, and lines also do not need to be buried as deeply as the traditional gravity sewer. This lowers construction costs and is what has made the extension of sewers affordable and possible along the western side of the lake.
Residents can identify the location of the pump/grinder stations by a vertical post marking their location. The maintenance of these pumps and the cost of running them is a responsibility of the sewer district. Costs associated with operating the system will be a part of the quarterly sewer fee levied by the district.
As drivers along Route 394 are aware, the main trunk line for sewage collection runs along that highway, and most of the mainline infrastructure was installed last summer. Sometimes you will still see construction, especially near the BOCES School where a large pump station is located. The sewage collected there will flow from that location down to a connection with the existing sewer system at Sherman’s Bay, near the Smith Boy’s Marina; and, from there it will go to the treatment plant in Celoron.
The project has been a learning experience for everyone. There were obvious local “headaches” when road traffic had to be pushed into one lane or ditches dug across a lawn. However, once up and running, these dislocations will disappear and having sewer service will become a “way of life” for homeowners in the area. No longer will they need to worry about a failing septic system, or sewage mixing with their well water or it being discharged into the lake.
Another lesson, probably re-learned since we don’t see these things happen every day, is the time, planning, effort and cost it takes to build such public infrastructure. Our thanks should go out to the county, sewer district, planners, engineers, and construction company for plowing ahead with this needed project over two construction seasons through all kinds of weather conditions.
The inconvenience we have experienced, will be rewarded by having a public service installed which will be a long-term benefit to the lake and to the residents who live along it. It will be a public facility which will improve our quality of life and increase property values. It will be another reason to come, live and buy a home in Chautauqua County. Kudos to all involved!
Rolland Kidder is a Stow resident.