The Village of Manorhaven has approved the issuance of two bonds totaling nearly $1 million to pay for what officials said is long overdue work to clean and repair the village's aging and overburdened sewer system.
The 60-year-old sewer pipes have functioned long past their expected life, and village officials said the lines need to be repaired to prevent blockages and to preserve the sewer system.
“It’s an upgrade,” said trustee John Popeleski, who will oversee the sewer project. “Our sewer system, just like a lot of sewer systems in Nassau and Suffolk, they are getting a little up in age.”
About 15 years ago, Popeleski said, a small piece of the sewer pipe on Manorhaven Boulevard, made brittle over the decades, broke away, causing a minor collapse.
“It’s only going to get worse. It’s not going to get better,” Popeleski said, noting that the system is functioning fine but needs to be upgraded. “If you are on top of maintenance, at the end of the day, it saves taxpayers money.”
Other than age, another element that has strained the sewer system is the density of the small waterfront community. The 0.47-square-mile village is home to 6,649 residents living in mostly single- and multifamily homes, according to the most recent census data.
Gary Pagano, who was mayor from 1992 to 1998, called the existing sewer system, as well as the roads, “woefully inadequate” to meet the demands of a growing population.
“The system is just overtaxed," he said. "It’s overused. It was never built to accommodate the number of people that it’s now forced to accommodate. With the overcrowding in the village, the population growth, we’ve really pushed our luck.”
In recent years, the village has hired sewer cleaning companies to inspect and clear grease blockages in the sewer lines, and hired Woodbury-based Cameron Engineering & Associates to study its sewer system.
The bonds were approved July 25. One of them, for $700,000, will fund the installation of new sewer linings and the repair of 4,400 linear feet of pipes on Manorhaven Boulevard, the village’s main street, and on Inwood Road.
Village officials said bid requirements will be available starting Aug. 14 at Village Hall, and bids will be accepted until Sept. 23.
The other bond, for $250,000, will continue to fund cleaning and inspection work that has continued for nearly a year before repair can start.
“We hope to make sure we don’t have further blockages as we go on,” Mayor Jim Avena said.
Once repairs are completed, village officials said, they would work on putting in a new force main, which pumps wastewater from Manorhaven to the sewage treatment plant in Port Washington.
“We are doing our due diligence,” the mayor said. “It takes time.”