Weirton ready to begin Phase II of sewer project

WEIRTON – Phase I of the $6 million sewage overhaul is done, but the city’s sanitary board has to wait for permits and approvals from state agencies before it can move on to the next stage.

Phase I involved laying about 4,700 lineal feet of gravity sewer to route sanitary flow from some 1,000 structures along Pennsylvania Avenue and nearby neighborhoods up Old Main Street to the 5th Street Lift Station.

Utilities Director A.D. “Butch” Mastrantoni said that work is done except for some light restoration work “that we’ve got to do when the weather breaks.”

He said plans and specifcations for Phase II – a new 16-inch main that will take the sanitary flow from the lift station all the way to the Freedom Way treatment plant about six miles away, where it will be treated and then released into the Ohio River – have been submitted to the state Department of Environmental Protection, Bureau of Public Health and Public Service Commission.

He said they need permits from DEP and the Bureau of Public Health, and a Certificate of Convenience and Necessity from the PSC.

“We’re playing a waiting game until we get the permits,” he said.

More than two years ago abnormally high levels of fecal coliforms were detected in what was supposed to be industrial process water. While fecal levels had always been monitored by workers at ArcelorMittal, it wasn’t until the steelmaker began removing unneeded structures in the north end and their industrial runoff volumes diminished that they realized the numbers were out of the norm.