The City of Hillsboro is trying to resolve a problem with too much inflow and infiltration at its water plant after receiving a violation notice from the Environmental Protection Agency.
Much of the problem stems from sump pumps and old basement drains that were bot hooked up properly, interim Hillsboro Safety and Service Director Dick Donley said. In other places, he said, runoff water is leaking into the system because the system’s lines are decayed.
Gary Wilcott, an engineer hired by the city, said the EPA has asked the city to come up with plan to eliminate at least some of the problem.
“We have made some dent in the issue, but we have not resolved it,” Silcott said at a special council meeting held just before Tuesday’s regular Hillsboro City Council meeting. “I think as long as we’re addressing it, (the EPA) will give us a little leeway.”
He said much of the problem appears to coming from 18 to 20 homes in the the South East Street area. He said residents in that area need to let the city look at their basements to see if there are issues, but some residents have not been receptive to the idea.
Silcott said the city will not be looking for any other issues with the homes, and will pay for the entire cost of repairing anything that is causing extra to get into the system.
He also said the city may need to come up with some type of legislation to prompt residents to let the city examine their basements.
“Hopefully people will do it voluntarily, but if they don’t … we need something to give the administration the teeth to do it,” Silcott said.
Fixing problems with the homes would be much less expensive than trying to fix all the storm sewers, Donley said.
He also emphasized that the city is trying to work with residents in the South East Street area to make the process of inspecting the basements as painless as possible, and that he would be willing to knock on doors and explain the issue.
If it’s not fixed, it could cause problems with bringing new business into the city, Donley said.
The South East Street area is not the only place there are issues, but it appears to be main problem area, Donley said.
“We know what needs to be done, now we need to get it done,” Donley said. “… We want to attract new business, but at this point we’re not sure the plant is going to be able to handle the extra water.”
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522.