The past year for the City of Maple Lake was marked by a successful first year for the municipal liquor store at its new location, the first painting of the city water tower, an effort to reduce sewer charges at the Annandale-Maple Lake-Howard Lake Wastewater Treatment Plant, issues regarding odors affecting a residence near the sewer plant, and improvements made to Irish Stadium as the Maple Lake Lakers and the city prepare to host the 2013 Minnesota Baseball Association State Tournament.
Water inflow and infiltration effort
No issue in 2011 consumed more city council time than the effort to reduce water inflow and infiltration into the city sewer system. Last year marked the first full year that the new Annandale-Maple Lake-Howard Lake Wastewater Treatment Plant had handled Maple Lake’s sewer treatment operations. With the three cities funding plant operations
through wastewater charges based on a fee of $4 per 1,000 gallons, curbing rising charges at the plant due to the infiltration of water into the sewer system became a priority.
In April, the city began inspections of all homes and businesses in an effort to reduce the amount of water that was unnecessarily being treated at the sewer plant. The city’s sewage fees averaged $22,000 during the winter months, but nearly doubled in March and hit a high of $60,000 in May, taking a big chunk out of the budgeted amount of $280,000 for sewer fees in 2011.
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Big equipment on 1st Street was a familiar sight as part of the sewer re-route project and the effort to reduce inflow and infiltration into the city’s sewer sytem.