WLSSD halts new sewer hookups in Thomson TownshipThe Western Lake Superior Sanitary District is cracking down on Thomson Township violating the district’s ordinance requiring a plan for keeping rainwater out of the sanitary sewer system.
By: John Myers, Duluth News Tribune, Pine Journal
The Western Lake Superior Sanitary District is cracking down on Thomson Township violating the district’s ordinance requiring a plan for keeping rainwater out of the sanitary sewer system.
On Monday night, the WLSSD board found the Carlton County township in violation of its inflow and infiltration ordinance, and imposed a ban on any new sewer hookups. The ban, which could thwart development for any business or household that wants to connect to the sewer system, will remain in effect until the township comes into compliance.
Marianne Bohren, WLSSD’s executive director, said the township listed eight projects in its 2008 plan but apparently didn’t finish any.
“They didn’t report any progress on their eight things from 2008, and then they didn’t list anything they were planning for 2009," she said. “We’re trying to meet with them as soon as possible and we hope to get this resolved.”
Calls to the Thomson town hall and to Thomson town supervisors today were not immediately returned.
Under a district ordinance passed last year, WLSSD requires all 17 municipalities within its service area, including Duluth, to report how much water they are sending to the treatment plant and what progress they are making to keep clean rainwater out of the system. Rainwater gushing into the system is blamed for historic overflows, and WLSSD and Duluth are under a federal order to stop those overflows.
While the goal is to reduce rainwater so the sewage system doesn’t overflow, local governments need only show that they have a plan and are working on a solution.
Of the 17 local government reports for 2008, six were kicked back by WLSSD for more work. Of those, five were resubmitted and approved. But WLSSD staff said Thomson hasn’t taken basic steps of showing it has a plan.
Thomson Township includes Esko and neighboring rural areas between Proctor and Carlton.