North Havre residents and interested community members next week can hear what the options are to take care of some sewer line problems in the unincorporated community.
The Hill County Commission has scheduled a public hearing Wednesday, March 21, at 7 p. m. in the Bear Paw Development Corp. Large Conference Room in the Ryan Building at 48 2nd Ave.
The main issues with the sewer system are that the sewer lines that transport the sewage across the Milk River en route to the sewage treatment plant have become exposed due to erosion and that the lift station that pumps the sewage across the river from one of the rural special improvement districts, or RSIDs, is outmoded and needs to be upgraded.
Other issues that have caused problems for some residents in North Havre, such as sewage backing up into their homes, also have been examined in the study.
Michele Turville, infrastructure specialist at Bear Paw Development, said the engineer will present a preliminary report and discuss issues including potential environmental impacts as well as cost estimates.
The two districts affected are:
• Hill County RSID 11, north of the Milk River from about 10th Avenue North to where the Wild Horse Road splits off from River Road.
• RSID 21, north and east of RSID 11.
The main concern is the exposed forcemains that transport the sewage across the Milk River, with the engineer preparing the study saying last year that the forcemains could be broken at any time. That would lead to immediate repairs or replacement being required, and probably fines assessed by the Department of Environmental Quality.
Those charges would have to be paid by the owners of the systems, the county government and the RSID the forcemain serves.
Another major problem is the lift station for RSID 11. Keeping the old lift station running is costing the taxpayers there an average of more than $15,000 a year in repairs and maintenance.
At meetings held during the study of the system, several options were discussed on how to replace the forcemains, putting them under the river to reduce the chance of their becoming exposed again.
Different options, and their price tags, also were discussed on how to deal with the RSID lift station.
Ways to pay for the project, including forming a sewer district that could access grants and loans to help fund it, also were discussed in the previous meetings.
For more information, people can contact Turville at 265-9226.