Village urged to be proactive with sewer issues
Preliminary study shows lagoon size, resident costs should increase.
Brady residents each flush an average of 130 gallons of waste water into the village’s sewer system every day.
At least that’s as close as Miller & Associates of Kearney can come to an accurate measurement of the village’s per capita waste water.
Reed Miller told village board members during their regular monthly meeting on June 22 that a study of Brady’s sewage lagoons and waste water flow has been a challenge but his firm is getting closer to the information it needs to make a solid recommendation to trustees.
In September 2009, the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality issued a notice of violation for Brady’s sewage lagoons with a mandated compliance list and time line for repairs.
The original deadline came and went a year ago, Miller said, but his firm is working closely with state officials since all of the funding for repairs comes with strings attached.
Miller said his studies show an average of 55,900 gallons pumping through the sewer system each day.
Divided by the current population of 428 residents, that’s roughly 130 gallons a day per person.
That figure, along with expected population growth and allowable seepage shows Brady needs approximately 16 acres of land for sewage lagoons, Miller said. Currently, 7.2 acres are dedicated to lagoons and not all of that area is being used.
“Even though it appears you’ve got a lot of lagoon out there, you’re losing a lot of water,” Miller said.
The standard seepage allowed by NDEQ is an eighth-inch per day.
Brady’s lagoon is reported to lose at least two inches a day and a soil report from 2007 shows five inches or more of seepage per day.
“At two inches a day, you’re seeping 60 feet per year,” Miller said. “We want to get that down to four feet or less.”
Miller showed the board a variety of lagoon liner materials that are costly but could help eliminate seepage.
“The down side of that is that if you put in a liner that drops your seepage to zero, you’re going to need 29 acres of lagoon space.”
Miller still couldn’t put a dollar amount on the repairs and upgrades but he did reassure trustees whatever funding assistance the village qualifies for will require matching funds.
“I’d suggest you be proactive and bump up your fees,” he said.
Another recommendation was water meters.
“I know you don’t really want the cost and hassle of metering everyone’s water but every bit you cut down on the waste will reduce the size of lagoon you need,” he said.
Miller & Associates has until December to have the study complete and to the state but Miller hopes to submit it for comment within the next couple of months.
The village board took no action.
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