Township addresses water sediment issue

Published 9:13 am Thursday, January 23, 2014

Niles Township residents who have noticed sediment in their water should expect the issue to be resolved by spring.

On Tuesday, the township’s board of trustees unanimously approved the expenditure of $2,900 to have the inside of the township’s water tower cleaned.

Jim Stover, township supervisor, said the tank couldn’t be cleaned until a layer of ice that has built up inside the tank has thawed, most likely in the spring.

Liquid Engineering Corp., based in Billings, Mont., will do the work. Jim Ringler, township treasurer, said the company would clean inside the water tower without having to drain it. They will also provide an inspection.

Ringler described the job as a temporary fix. He said the township would likely have to have the inside of the tank recoated in the late summer or early fall — the time of the year when companies like to do such work.

The tank hasn’t been recoated since 1998, according to Ringler. He said an inspection done in 2005 revealed that a recoating was needed, but no recoating was ever done.

Stover said the sediment residents have seen in their water isn’t harmful.

“It just doesn’t look good,” he said.

The township also heard a progress report on the Enbridge pipeline replacement project from the company’s public affairs liaison Daniel Dancer.

Dancer said construction is complete and that restoration work would begin in earnest in the spring. It is expected to be finished by late fall.

“Some things won’t get fixed the first time, but we will not leave until we get it done right,” Dancer said.

The pipe has been tested and, according to Dancer, a purge date (filling the pipe with oil) has been tentatively set for late February, depending on several factors, including weather. He said the old pipe would remain in the ground. It will be filled with harmless low-pressure nitrogen and monitored.

Dancer said the new pipe, which will transport oil obtained from Canada, is coated with powder coating that has a useful lifespan of 200 years. The replacement project included 210 miles of pipe stretching from Griffith, Ind., to Marysville, Mich.

Several trustees praised Enbridge for the way they handled the replacement project.

“I think merchants will be sad when you are gone — we see you guys everywhere,” said Terry Eull, township clerk.

In other business, the township:

• Authorized the purchase of new BS&A financial management software that will be used for municipal work.

• Set a public hearing at 7:05 p.m. Feb. 18 for the township’s five-year community parks, recreation, open space and greenway plan. The plan can be picked up at the township office or viewed online at

• Heard a request from Margo Green to obtain a small parcel of land abutting Niles-Buchanan Road near Hamilton Drive that is owned by the township. Green said land near the parcel in question has been sold to a person planning to split the land into parcels that will be used for residential development. The township’s parcel of land keeps the developer’s land from having any road frontage. The trustees decided to look into the issue before proceeding.