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Town engineer reports on sanitary sewer system capacity

Clarence officials have questions about whether the town's sewer systems can keep up with the housing growth in Erie County's fastest-growing community.

Wednesday, they looked for answers.

Town Engineer Joseph D. Latona provided an extensive report on the town's sanitary sewer system during a Town Board work session also attended by representatives from the town's Planning and Environmental boards.

"The town has established that there is sewer capacity and capacity to honor existing contracts and capacity for existing developments," Latona said after the meeting.

"The capacity for future development will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis," he added.

The town Building Department issues a maximum of 240 permits for new houses each year, though several proposals for new subdivisions wend their way through the Planning Department every year.

Much of the town's sewage flows by gravity to Amherst, where it is treated at the town's treatment plant.

Latona said there is capacity for that part of the town in which wastewater flows to Amherst, specifically through the 24-inch Peanut Line sewer that runs along the Peanut Line railroad right of way crossing the northern part of Amherst.

A combination of town- and Erie County-controlled sewer districts exists throughout parts of Clarence. Most recently, the new Heise-Brookhaven trunk line was built and paid for by developers Anthony Cimato and Kevin Curry. They agreed to build a $5 million, 4.5-mile, 24-inch sewer line that will serve both Clarence Hollow and Waterford Village, which is under development.

The developers will get 1,000 taps over the next 20 to 25 years to hook up new houses to the sewer line, which gives them the option of future development.

Latona said that while the town regularly monitors capacity, it has discovered that infiltration and inflow is a major problem in Clarence Sewer District No. 2. His department recommended that a 10-inch interceptor sewer along Clarence Center Road should be monitored for further study.

There has been one report produced by the town, "but my analysis is one thing. Erie County did [a study] last year, so the information from all these sources needs to be evaluated on a regional basis," he said. "Available capacity needs to be monitored very carefully, which we will be doing."

e-mail: hmcneil@buffnews.com

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