County looks into sewer service for Summerford


(Posted Nov. 20, 2015)

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

The Madison County commissioners are exploring the idea of bringing sewer service to the village of Summerford. Currently, residents in the area use personal backyard leaching systems.

On Nov. 16, representatives of IBI Group, the same Westerville engineering firm overseeing the county’s water service project at Route 42 and I-70, presented preliminary calculations for the cost to construct a sewer system in Summerford and the potential financial impact to residents.

IBI estimates the cost of construction to be $1.65 million. The county would be eligible to apply for state and federal grants to cover some of the cost. Should the project move forward, the commissioners would need to determine how much of the uncovered cost they would pass on to the approximately 90 customers in the area.

The minimum monthly charge would be $33 per month to cover sewer services. This amount would not include payment toward the debt on the system construction. If the county were to pass on the entire cost to the customer, the monthly bill would be closer to $80.

“Right now, we’re concerned that the overall cost is unattainable for the majority of the residents,” said Commissioner David Dhume.

He emphasized that IBI’s research is the basis for preliminary discussions, that the county has no firm plans to move forward with a construction project at this time. He said they are weighing the costs against the needs.

The commissioners plan to meet with the Somerford Township trustees for input and to see how involved they want to be in the exploration process.

In the meantime, the commissioners asked IBI to revisit their calculations. The general consensus is that the county would prefer a grinder sewer because that’s the type of system in place at Lake Choctaw. However, IBI’s calculations assume a 20-year lifespan on the grinder pumps, and the county’s experience is that those pumps last just 12 to 15 years. IBI plans to factor this into a new set of calculations, which likely means the project cost would be higher.

The Madison County commissioners meet each Monday at the courthouse at Main and High streets in London. Visit for meeting agendas.

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