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Gravity-fed sewer is
Park Hill's choice

by Alan McArthur
Landmark reporter

Park Hill's Board of Education chose to continue with a gravity-fed sewer option over the concerns of some residents near Union Chapel Elementary School.

The district began exploring options to replace the current sewage package facility at the school because it has exceeded its life expectancy. The facility was built in 1977 and had a life of 25 years.

The proposed gravity sewer line would run 1.7 miles and is estimated to cost the district $1.25 million to construct.

The district staff recommended the board approve the gravity fed sewer line option on Thursday, and the board approved the option.

“Because none of the proposed solutions meet all of the above criteria, the selection of any solution is complex. In short, the recommendation of the gravity-fed system comes as a result of the analysis of all of the criteria, and represents the best of all of the potential solutions. Ultimately, the gravity-fed system is best for the staff, students and families at Union Chapel Elementary School and the patrons of the Park Hill School District,” stated a staff report.

The district had researched several options including a pressurized sewer line and on-site options.

The gravity sewer line will run to the east from the school through a valley and connect to another sewer line at Crooked Road. After construction the line will be handed over to the Platte County Regional Sewer District (PCRSD) to maintain.

The PCRSD requires any homes within 300 feet of a sewer line to connect to the line at the homeowner's expense.

Neighbors along the sewer line have pressed the school district to use another option to avoid connection costs that are sometimes estimated at more than $80,000 per homeowner.

One of the criteria the school district used in it decision was to minimize impact on the community. In their recommendation, staff reported, “The district prefers solutions that require no easements, disruption to land and/or trees, or requirement of nearby homeowners to connect. In addition, the district favors solutions that provide optional community access to sewers and align with county and community planning.”

Other criteria were to reduce the smell from the current facility, and to choose an option with the lowest cost and maintenance.

The district began looking into the issue after an April 2006 no-tax increase bond issue was passed which included replacing the current sewage facility.



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