03/08/05 — Eureka to check town's sewer lines

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Eureka to check town's sewer lines

By Turner Walston
Published in News on March 8, 2005 1:45 PM

The Eureka Town Board decided Monday to move forward with smoke-testing the town's sewer lines.

Residents of the town have complained about what they call high sewer bills. Eureka is charged monthly by the town of Fremont, who in turn is charged by Goldsboro, for the service.

The smoke testing would help identify places where inflow is a problem. Correcting the inflow problem could help reduce costs, town officials have said.

The board heard a presentation from Crayton Overton, an engineer with Herring-Sutton & Associates of Wilson. Overton said there are a lot of options for improving Eureka's sewer system, but noted that, "None of them come cheap."

Overton said that the Rural Economic Development Center has no money available at present to help the town. The center helps small towns with the sale of bonds to finance public works projects.

The center prioritizes its funding according to need. Counties are ranked from 1 to 5 on a scale, with municipalities and communities ranked at No. 1 getting the most attention. Overton said Wayne is rated as a 3.

Town board member Myrtie Sauls said that money was Eureka's primary problem. Overton said that this is not an uncommon problem for small towns, but that the process of investigating and finding funding takes time.

"At the rate we're going, with the money we've got, we're goners within a year," Ms. Sauls said.

Tony Honeycutt of the North Carolina Rural Water Association then addressed the board. He said that grant money is not available from the association for the remainder of this grant cycle. But Honeycutt said that Eureka should look ahead to the next round of funding and conduct a vulnerability assessment to help it be prepared for the next time that money becomes available.

"All the stuff you can do, that's extra points when opportunities for grants come up," Honeycutt said.

He suggested smoke-testing the town's existing sewer lines as "a place to start." He said the process would identify major problem areas of inflow to the sewer lines. Honeycutt said that a gallon of liquid smoke would cost $40, and that Eureka probably would not use the entire gallon.

"This should be your first step," Overton added.

"I feel better already," Sauls said.