Solutions offered to Lysander neighborhood's sewage problem

Whispering Oaks residents could pay thousands over time

Onondaga County Plumbing Control is continuing to inspect households in the Whispering Oaks development off of Route 370.

Inspectors are investigating where waste water sources like pool drains and sump pumps empty, and, so far, only one of the inspected houses was found to be correctly hooked to the storm water drain.

The rest have been found to be emptying into the sewer. While the extra waste water may have contributed to the sewage system's failure, county officials don't think that properly rerouting it will solve the problem of sewage outbreaks which have recently plagued the neighborhood.

Two long-term solutions have been proposed. The first option is to install a 4,400 foot force main under Seneca River to connect the Whispering Oaks sewer district with the Harbor Heights pump station in Van Buren. This method would require significant upgrades to the pump station to accommodate the increased flow, including installation of bigger pumps, upgrades to the electrical system, and a new odor control building.

The town of Lysander estimates the cost at $940,000 or $1,238 annually per household for 30 years. For the same project, the county gives an overall estimate of $1.2 million, or $24,000 total per household.

The second alternative would connect the Whispering Oaks sewer district to the trunk sewer at the foot of Artillery Lane in the Village of Baldwinsville. This option coincides with the county's existing 2010 Comprehensive Plan, which extend sewers west on Route 370, and would allow an additional 250 hookups along the line.

However, going in this direction would require boring under the 690 ramps, is twice as long, and necessitates a longer construction period.

Both the town and the county put the cost of the Route 370 option at $1.8 million. Lysander predicts this will run each household an annual $1,852 for 30 years, while the county projects that residents will pay only $6,000 in total. The county's estimate is vastly lower for this option because it take into account the future units that could be hooked up to the line, whose developers would ultimately split the bill.

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