Middlesex hears stormwater concern

Resident revisits backflow issue

May 22, 2020 Cranberry Local News

MIDDLESEX TWP — Supervisors conducted their meeting in-person Wednesday evening before an audience of four.

With few items on the agenda, the biggest issue flooding the meeting came from a resident's stormwater concern.

Jeff Barner, who lives along Ruth Drive, approached the supervisors in July 2019 about a catch basin near his home at the intersection of Ruth and Jason drives.

At the time, Barner told supervisors the catch basin doesn't drain properly and backs up, flooding his basement by up to eight inches.

He attended Wednesday's meeting to discuss the same problem.

“I know last year we talked about it and you had some much bigger issues to deal with, mostly Denny Road,” Barner said. “I was just wondering if there's been (progress).”

Michael Spreng, supervisor chairman, said he did stop to look at the situation. Spreng said he still isn't sure how water is getting into Barner's basement.

“That catch basin is probably three or four feet lower than your basement floor,” Spreng said. “There's no way that should ever back up three or four feet high.”

Spreng said he believes the issue is probably the lines bringing water to the basin instead of the basin itself.

“There's something else wrong, other than that catch basin,” Spreng said. “It's got to be the pipes coming from your home.”

Barner said he identified two lines feeding into the catch basin. One line is broken and no longer flows directly into the basin, according to Barner. He said the other line connects his basement drain to the storm system via a four-inch perforated “shoulder drain.”

“I put a backflow preventer in — two of them — right on the line coming from my property,” Barner said.

Barner said Spreng was right about the elevation of his home. He thinks there might be a problem with the below-ground pipe connecting the catch basin in front of his house to the rest of the system.

The pipe doesn't handle full water flow in heavy downpours, according to Barner.

“There's something blocking the pipe under the street,” Barner said. “That water's not draining fast enough.”

Barner said the result is water backs up around his backflow system and sits.

He proposed the township at least “camera” the line before he corrects anything himself, like installing a pump system in his basement.

“I'll work with you,” Barner said. “I just didn't want to jump ahead of the game.”

Spreng said he understands something is causing water to back up and he'll investigate the problem.

“I have a camera,” Spreng said. “I'll run it down there and see what I see.”

Spreng added he expects Barner will still get water in his basement if the line is clear.

Barner said at least with the stormwater system checked, he'll be able to establish a “baseline” for what to expect on his property.

“I'll check it out,” Spreng said. “If it's backing up, there is something wrong there.”

Samantha Beal

Samantha Beal