05/06/07 — Eureka, Fremont plug sewer leaks but both still face money problems

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Eureka, Fremont plug sewer leaks but both still face money problems

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on May 6, 2007 2:00 AM

Crews have plugged sewer gushers in Eureka, but leaks in that town and Fremont continue to cause money problems.

Eureka's sewer bills from Fremont are coming down, but not enough, town board member Myrtie Sauls said this week.

"We still talk sewer, sewer, sewer. We can't get into anything else," she said. "(The workmen) are in town ... working diligently. We haven't seen enough, but we're getting results."

The April sewer bill arrived from the town of Fremont recently, and it was for a little more than $9,800. The March bill was just over $18,800.

Still, Eureka can only afford to pay $4,500 a month, and the town owes a total of almost $176,000 to Fremont including the new bill amount.

Eureka's debt and leaky lines of its own are putting Fremont behind in its payments to the City of Goldsboro.

"We owe Goldsboro about $204,000, including our payment this month," Fremont town administrator Kerry McDuffie said.

Although Fremont's bill has not arrived, McDuffie said he has learned the town's payment due to Goldsboro this month is going to be $38,000.

Both Fremont and Eureka have crews out repairing sewer lines. Fremont's project started in February, a little before Eureka's endeavor, which began in March.

The Eureka project is scheduled to be finished in late June for the sewer line rehabilitation and the end of July the pump station rehabilitation. The larger project in Fremont should be completed by October.

Already, Eureka and Fremont are seeing dramatic reductions in inflow and infiltration.

But there is no such thing as a leakless sewer system, McDuffie said.

"There will always be leaks," he said. "No system is sealed tight with no leaks."

Fremont, which has 675 sewer customers, has some lines that are up to 14- to 16-feet down. The water table is 6- to 12-feet below ground.

"You can easily have lines below the water table, and some pipes are 80 years old. They were originally installed in the 1920s," McDuffie said.

Eureka, which has 117 sewer customers, installed its sewer lines in the late 1970s.