The Fayette Tribune, Oak Hill, W.Va.

Local News

December 26, 2012

Oak Hill gets better picture of sewer system

OAK HILL — City officials are getting closer and closer to an understanding of Oak Hill's aging sewer system and how it might one day be improved, thanks to a study of the system by an outside consultant.

The Inflow & Infiltration study, part of a much larger $14 million sewer improvement project aimed at cleaning up the New River, is now three-quarters complete.

Oak Hill’s sewer system works well under normal circumstances, but during heavy rains, storm water gets into the system through breaks in lines, manholes, and illegal connections to gutter downspouts. The wastewater overloads the city’s sewage collection and treatment system and overflows into Arbuckle and Loop creeks, which feed the New River.

Known as “inflow and infiltration,” or “I&I,” this phenomenon is most often caused by aging infrastructure that needs maintenance and repair.

The purpose of the study is to identify deficiencies in the system in order to develop a rehabilitation project for the areas of critical concern. It will also provide data so that city officials can undertake long-term planning. When the project is complete, the sewer system will be mapped in the city’s new GIS system.

“This is going to go a long way in mapping our sewer system. We don’t have a good grasp of what all is out there in the ground,” said Oak Hill City Manager Bill Hannabass when the project was launched earlier this year. “It’s going to give me a tool to plan better to not only operate the system but maintain the system.”

Pentree Engineering, which is undertaking the study, reports the existing system is “in typical condition for a municipality such as Oak Hill. Much of the old system has the normal deficiencies found in gravity collection networks.”

“Leaking structures, root penetration, corrosion, erosion, concrete deterioration are prevalent throughout the network. There was also evidence found of backups due to sagging  lines and lack of proper design effort. There are portions of pipeline laid on top of the ground.”

Pentree employees have been searching for the city’s 882 manholes, but that can be difficult given the system’s age. Some have been buried or paved over. The rights of ways are often blocked by trees, brush, and thick undergrowth.

So far, surveyors have located 555 of the manholes.

Five flow meters are also set up and monitoring the sewage collection system. Flow metering will continue through 2013.

The New River Clean Water Alliance, a grassroots group of locals working on water quality in the region, just wrapped up a water monitoring project in Arbuckle Creek — with monitoring points above and below wastewater plants — to better understand where fecal coliform pollution is coming from in the creek. Arbuckle Creek is a major source of pollution in the New River, according to a report released by the group last year.

— E-mail:

Text Only
Local News
  • 080414 FT science plume.jpg Rousing conclusion to summer reading program

    The Lively Family Amphitheater turned into one big science laboratory Tuesday.


    August 3, 2014 2 Photos

  • ee 1.jpg Energy Express makes impact on students’ lives

    Energy Express to him, Matt White says, is all about a “different experience.”

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • maurices Fostering Self-Esteem

    The local Maurices is involved in a project aimed at making the school transition a little easier this fall for foster children in the area.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Children’s Health and Safety Fair scheduled for August 1

    Montgomery General Hospital and Dr. Traci Acklin have announced that the 2014 Children’s Health and Safety Fair will be held on Friday, Aug. 1 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the hospital.

    July 21, 2014

  • Theater to hold auditions

    Open auditions are set for Tuesday and Thursday at the Historic Fayette Theater for the comedy/drama “Belongings”. Auditions will be held at the theater in Fayetteville at 7 p.m. each evening.

    July 21, 2014

  • asb carver 25 years and counting

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Taylor Made Free concert series

    The next free public concert in the Lively Family Amphitheater Summer Concert Series is a performance Saturday at 6 p.m. by popular band Taylor Made.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Energy Express open house set

    Energy Express, an award-winning summer reading program serving 35+ children in Fayette County, will host a free open house for members of the Beards Fork SALS community. The event takes place on Thursday, July 24, at 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

    July 17, 2014

  • rhody1.jpg Stages of life

    July 14, 2014 3 Photos

  • thurmond depot.jpg Explore town’s rail heritage

    Discover what life was like in one of the New River Gorge’s most renowned towns as you join National Park Service rangers and Operation Lifesaver on Saturday, July 19 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to explore the historic railroad town of Thurmond.

    July 14, 2014 1 Photo