Montevallo to extend city sewer coverage to problematic Aldrich

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The Montevallo Water Board is one step closer to bringing city sewer service to Aldrich residents plagued by leaky septic tanks.

The Montevallo City Council voted Monday night to accept a company&8217;s bid to oversee a state grant that will pay to extend the city&8217;s sewer lines nearly two miles. The plan must now be approved by the city&8217;s water board, which will meet again Thursday morning.

The $500,000 Community Development Block Grant will be used to provide city service in the Aldrich neighborhood, where faulty private septic tanks have caused raw sewage to seep into yards, ditches and roads.

However, under the grant guidelines, a private company must oversee how the money is spent. The city council selected Huntsville-based Community Consultants for the job. The engineering group has previously done sewer improvements for the west Alabama towns of West Blocton and Sulligent.

Originally a coal-mining town, much of Aldrich was built in the 1930s and many of the existing septic tanks installed then have deteriorated.

&8220;There are a few septic tanks that are real old,&8221; said Henry Emfinger, a local resident and curator of the Aldrich Coal Mine Museum. &8220;Five or six years ago, Montevallo surveyed the community and asked who wanted city service. They did half of us then. I hope this gets the rest of the community.&8221;

An 8,600-foot-long sewer line will be constructed to connect an additional 58 households to city sewer services. To assist in sewage disposal, a pump station and four grinder pumps also will be built.

In October, Gov. Bob Riley notified Mayor Sharon Anderson that the grant had been approved. In response, the city is providing $320,000 in additional funding for the project.