City to consider construction of access road to holding pond pumphouse

City administrators are going to explore establishing an access road to a pump house serving a 10-million-gallon capacity holding pond after one of two pumps malfunctioned during May 17 heavy rains.

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Diane Oliver, a resident of Michigan Street, told the Bellefontaine City Council that water backed up in the holding pond during the extraordinary rain event and into her yard.

Storm runoff did not make it into her home, but it damaged trees and perennial plants, she said.

She estimates the water in the holding pond was at least 10 feet deep.

“I don’t want to have to worry about it in the future,” she said. “Now is the time to ask what happened, what was learned and what can be done to prevent it in the future?”

Service-Safety Director David Henry and City Engineer Tim Notestine explained the retention pond was put in 26 years ago and the city was aware the pump was not working prior to May 17.

However, it was too muddy to reach the pump house to fix the problem.

The city also has ordered a back up pump to have on hand in the event of a future failure.

Oliver asked if the city could put in a gravel road to access the pumps. Notestine said Bellefontaine has easements from Ludlow Road that could be used for an access road and he will look into the idea.

Notestine and Henry noted the ability to pump water out of the holding pond is limited by the Environmental Protection Agency which sets restrictions to address concerns of residents downstream.

Those residents feared too much outflow from the pond would cause water issues for them.

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