GREENSBORO — Greensboro officials should apply for state funding to repair leaky sewer pipes, as storm water seeping in is placing an undue burden on the town’s wastewater treatment equipment and could limit future development, Public Works Director David Kibler told the mayor and council at their meeting Thursday, Sept. 5.
Kibler said the wastewater treatment plant processed nearly double the number of gallons of water in March, during a rainy season, as it did in July, when it was dry.
“That’s not because people in Greensboro were flushing their toilets more (in March),” Kibler said.
Those extra gallons represent about 500 potential future homes, should residential development take off, that could not be built due to lack of available capacity at the wastewater treatment plant, Kibler said.
The groundwater also makes the town’s two main pump stations work a lot harder than necessary, Kibler said.
Kibler said the town’s pipes are up to 75 years old, and made with a variety of materials.
“Any kind of pipe that was available in the last 75 years is under the ground,” Kibler said.
Terra cotta pipes are cracking, Kibler said, letting in groundwater.
Kibler recommended relining the pipes, which would last about 50 years, rather than replacing the pipes, which would cost twice as much and require digging up the existing lines.
He estimated it would cost about $750,000 to reline all the pipes in need.
Kibler said the town could be eligible for a grant to pay for it through the Maryland Department of the Environment; the application, due in January, requires video evidence of disrepair.
If approved in May 2020, Kibler said, the grant would become available sometime in 2021.
Also at the town meeting:
— Nicole Armour, town clerk/treasurer, said many residents have asked for a reliable method to be notified of town news. The company that runs the town’s website offers a service that would allow residents to sign up for email, text and/or phone notifications. It would cost the town $2,400 to set it up and run it for the first year, and $1,300 a year to continue. Councilmembers asked for more time to consider the offer.
— Armour said town residents will only be charged $20 for trash pick-up this quarter, rather than $30, as the town switched collection companies in July. Anyone who still has the former company’s black and yellow trash cans should empty them and put them by the curb for the town’s public works department to collect.
— Armour announced she is stepping down from her position as of Friday, Sept. 13. Resumes for a new clerk/treasurer will be accepted through 3:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 13, and interviews will be the following week.