Archive for October, 2014

N3 Sewer Update – Oct. 2014

October 4, 2014

On Friday, Sept. 26, Mike Scarborough and Peter Gentile, representing the N-3 Neighborhood Committee, met with Jaimol Charles and Greg Rouse of the Sarasota County Utilities Department for an update regarding the “hybrid gravity” sewer system planned for our neighborhood.


The project has reached the 30 percent design stage. Detailed drawings have been prepared, and the Utilities Department is in discussions with state regulators regarding methods of construction and specific placement of the proposed lift stations. Once the state review is complete, the plan will be modified as needed and the engineers will take the design to the 60 percent stage, at which time there will be a public meeting for all homeowners in Area N-3. We were told that we can probably expect this meeting to occur in early 2015.


At this meeting, the county engineers will present an overview of the entire project, and you will be able to view drawings that show the details for each individual home, including the location of current septic tank(s) and the planned location of the “lateral lines” that connect  the main lines to each individual house. If you have already expressed a preference for the location of the lateral (a survey was taken some years ago), the County has attempted to honor your request. The lateral line will be capped and marked at the property line. Each homeowner will be responsible for the connection from their house to the lateral line, and then crushing or removing their septic tank(s).


As we have stated in previous emails, the “hybrid gravity” sewer system calls for six to 10 small underground lift stations in various locations in the public right of way throughout our neighborhood. At the current 30-percent design stage, it looks as though six lift stations may be enough, and there could end up being fewer. The final locations of the lift stations will be presented at the public meeting.


This “hybrid gravity” plan came into being after the County Commission halted an earlier proposal that would have placed a county-owned “grinder pump” in each individual yard, with the homeowner responsible for providing power to the device. The N-3 Committee conducted research into these “grinder pumps” and determined that they could be prone to failure and would stop working in the event of a power failure, leaving homeowners dependent on the county to pump them out in an emergency. Also, the County did not plan to obtain easements for the placement of the devices, which committee members felt was of dubious legality. Thanks to persistent lobbying by the committee and the efforts of 50 or more neighbors who attended the County Commission meeting, the Commission halted the “grinder pump” plan and County staff was directed to investigate a “hybrid gravity” system for the neighborhood.


We believe the County Commission and the Utilities Department have gone the extra mile to design the best system possible for our neighborhood. Not only will we avoid having 200 individual “grinder pumps” in our yards, but we will also avoid having 200 “candy canes” (which we would have had under the third alternative, a “vacuum system” like the rest of South Gate).


The main sewer lines will be placed in one lane or the other of the streets, not down the middle, so that there will be at least one lane available for travel during construction. The construction crews will attempt to keep access open to each home, but there may be times when coming and going will be somewhat difficult. We have been told that the construction crews will be attentive to any special needs individual homeowners may have. Some months after construction is complete, all the streets in the project area will be repaved.


We look forward to seeing all of you at the next public meeting, which, if we are lucky, may be the LAST public meeting we will have to attend regarding the provision of sewer service to our neighborhood.


Best regards,

Peter Gentile, Chairman

N-3 Neighborhood Committee