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Morristown looks to address problems with new sewer system

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MORRISTOWN — A closed meeting Tuesday was held by members of the Town Council to discuss problems plaguing the new River Road East sewer system.

“It was productive,” Town Clerk David Murray said. “All the issues have been identified and they’re working on a solution.”

The $3.8 million sewer project that was largely completed in August has had problems with 21 of the roughly 100 sewage grinder units installed.

Some grinders froze solid over the winter, despite being buried below what engineers believed was the frost line.

Because the warranty with the contractor, North Country Contractors, Henderson, is up in August, the town hopes to have the problem fixed well in advance of next winter when temperatures drop.

Village Superintendent of Public Works Kevin J. Crosby has been heavily involved in inspecting the new system and ensuring it is working properly. It was Mr. Crosby who compiled the list of malfunctioning units.

Mr. Crosby sat in on Tuesday’s meeting, at which the town “had a list of problems, and we went through them one by one.”

Mr. Crosby said the meeting was attended by Timothy A. Burley, partner at C2AE in Canton, who oversaw the engineering of the project.

Mr. Burley could not be reached for comment Thursday or Friday.

The meeting also was attended by representatives of North Country Contractors and the grinder manufacturer, E/One Sewer Systems.

Mr. Crosby said the process of fixing the freezing grinder units will begin soon.

“Hopefully, their corrective action will solve the problems,” he said.

If the problem isn’t solved by August, however, the town will be left figuring out how to pay for further work. While the grinders themselves have a two-year warranty, the cost of any work to install new units after August will be left to either the users or the town.

Mr. Crosby said he isn’t sure who will be responsible for paying for broken units in the future.

Town Supervisor Frank L. Putman could not be reached for comment Thursday or Friday.

Now that warmer weather has arrived, Mr. Crosby said, there haven’t been any further complaints about the sewer system.

“I’m hopeful that the fixes they put in will solve the problem,” Mr. Crosby said, adding that part of the solution will be educating the public on how to winterize the new system if residents leave for the winter.

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