TOPSHAM — In order to stem the tide of drainage problems in the Bay Park area of town, Public Works Director Rob Pontau is suggesting improvements that include a new outlet to the drainage stream, a new storm drain and two new under-drains.
Pontau discussed the proposed project with the Board of Selectmen Feb. 5, calling it the best of four alternatives presented in a study this year by the Sitelines consulting firm. The best option allows future expansion of the drainage system, presents no major changes to the drainage stream, would require a drainage easement from one landowner and would allow for the lowest outfall elevation.
“That’s really the only realistic option that we have at this point,” Pontau said, “and that’s good, because it was probably the least expensive of the four.”
Pontau said the total cost could be roughly $500,000, a number that has not been verified by any contractors. This money could be funded through a variety of options, he said: building it into the fiscal 2010 budget, going out to bond, and applying for a Federal Emergency Management Agency grant that would require Topsham to provide 25 percent of the project cost.
He said he hopes work can begin by fall.
The pipes in Bay Park have little slope for water to flow, Pontau said, noting that installing a new outlet at a lower elevation would allow for more slope to be added to the pipes.
“First of all we’ve got to do the outlet,” he said.
The project would include installation of a new outlet along Hunter Lane, as well as a new storm drain along Hunter Lane, a 12-inch to 18-inch under-drain stretching about 1,400 feet along Goldeneye Drive from Hunter Lane to Teal Road, and a 12-inch to 18-inch under drain along Eider Lane.
In December, the Board of Selectmen received a petition signed by 27 Bay Park residents who decried the drainage situation and suggested the water table seems to have risen over the last five years.
While a 1991 Sitelines study determined that the problem was concentrated in the area of Hunter Lane, Goldeneye Drive and Eider Lane, Greg Ouelette of Loon Drive said he would match the water issues his home faces “against any problem in the park.”
He continued that “it’s a Bay Park problem, and hopefully we’re talking about a reduction in the water level somehow, and with ground percolation over time we’ll have a reduced level and we can all learn to remediate it somehow, and at least we’ll have a place for this water to go. Right now we’re fighting nature.”
Pontau responded that the town’s drainage system is failing most at Goldeneye Drive and Eider Lane, and the town can only fix what is in the road.
“Our hope is that we can correct those roads where we know we have the problems,” Pontau said, “and then in turn the draw-down will help everybody.”