Gravois Arm Sewer District

Gravois Mills, Missouri


Gravois Arm Sewer District

Phases III, IV, V, and VI Project Questions

As the community is generally aware, this project is being constructed to help improve the wastewater collection and treatment for homes in your area. 

Explanation of Overall Plan

Q.        What type of system will be used?

A.            The system will consist mostly of grinder pumps and forced pressure.  There are some gravity sections.Pressure lines are buried 36 inches.

Q.        Will gravity be used whenever possible?

A.        There are a few places where gravity will be used.

Q.        Will individual homeowners receive a layout copy of the sewer system installed on their property?

A.        Yes, a layout will be part of the easement agreement.

Q.        Do homeowners have any say in the layout of the system on their property? (Ex. Away from trees and landscaping enhancements.)

A.        We will attempt to avoid such obstacles when possible.

Q.        What happens if additional septic lines are found that the present homeowner did not know about? (Ex. Additional room or another septic tank.)

A.        GASD will connect all discharge lines.

Q.        What is the hierarchy of decision-making regarding design or installation?

A.        Shall be defined in the Project Specifications.

Q.        Is there an appeal process?

A.        Yes, defined in the Project Specifications.

Q.        How will the sewer line/hookups for unimproved lots be handled?

A.        There shall be no hookups or provisions made of unimproved lots.

Easement Agreements

Q.        How large an easement will be needed from each property owner?

A.        The easement width will be 5’ on both sides of the structure (service line from grinder station to mainline, electric connection from house to the grinder station, neighbors 4” service line if required or a radius of 5’ from a point such as a grinder location.   “Main Collector Lines” shall have an easement width of 15’ on both sides of the structure as installed unless otherwise stated. 

            The easement for your 4” service line from your house to the grinder station or where it exits your property will be a temporary easement and will expire once construction is complete.  The homeowner will be responsible for the repair and maintenance of the 4” service line after construction.    

Q.        Easement across lot for piping, what about access to piping?

A.        Yes, will be described in the easement agreement.

Q.        Are the easements temporary or permanent?

A.        For the most part easement shall be permanent.  The Easement for connection to your house shall be temporary along with any temporary construction easement that may be required.

Q.        Where does it guarantee that property will be put back into original condition after work is completed or repairs must be made?

A.        Defined in the Project Specifications and easement.

Q.        Can homeowner amend easement document?

A.        Yes, there is a place for special provisions.


Q.        What is the estimated monthly cost per homeowner?

A.        Current rate for residential is $63.00. However, we are still working with the funding agencies and this bill may fluctuate slightly up or down.

Q.        How will these funds be collected?

A.        The District will provide billing and collections for all of its customers.

Q.        What are the guidelines for increasing sewer fees each year?

A.        History has been the inflation rate.

Q.        What if a homeowner refuses to pay monthly bill?

A.        System will be shut off.

Q.        What happens if a homeowner is late with payment?

A.        A 10% late payment fee will be added to the bill.

Q.        Cost per homeowner will approximate $11,000 debt reduction on loan – how many years does the sewer district have to pay off the loan?

A.        Term of the loan will be 33 years @ approximately 4.25%.

Q.        Will the sewer district be purchasing the property needed for the installation of lift stations? 

A.        If need be, for lift stations only.  The property will have to be deeded to the District.  Lift station sites are typically donated.  Individual grinder stations will be on easements.

Q.         Is this cost covered by the funding?

A.        Yes. 

Q.        Will electric charges for running the system be covered by monthly payments to the sewer district?  Or will shared bills be estimated by homeowner partners?

A.        Electric charges to run the grinder pumps will be the responsibility of the homeowner to which the pump’s electric has been connected.  The cost to run the pump is approximately $0.75 per month. If more than one home is connected to a grinder station the District credits the homeowner to whom the electric is connected $1.50/month.   Electric charges to run lift stations will be paid by the District from the monthly fees collected.

Cuts in Pavement

Q.                Will there be cuts across our road?

A.        Possibly.

Q.        How many cuts? Size? Thickness?

A.        The number of cuts varies.  A typical trend is about two (2) inches wide. 
Pavement shall be replaced with six (6)   inch minimum.

Q.        Will you replace asphalt sections with asphalt and concrete sections with concrete?

A.        Yes, cuts across asphalt will be repaired with asphalt and concrete with concrete.

Working System: Holding Tanks & Grinder Pumps

Q.                What are grinder pumps?  What is their function?

A.                 Pumps are installed in the bottom of a holding tank.  They grind the solid matter into liquid so it can be pumped out to the grinder stations to the main line and ultimately to a lift station.

Q.                How large are the holding tanks?

A.        Three (3) feet in diameter and six (6) feet deep.  They hold about 320 gallons.

Q.        How will individual tanks in the system be checked for proper functioning, with many homes vacant for long periods of time?

A.        There will be a visual and audible alarm at each pit.  Although the District will have an operator to maintain and occasionally inspect the pits, we will ask all of our customers to report any alarms to the District directly.  The District will then take corrective action.    

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Q.        How often will cleaning of individual tanks occur?

A.        Regular cleaning of tanks will not be necessary.  All waste will go through the grinder pump and be sent to the regional plant (located just off P Road) for treatment.

Q.        Who is responsible for the grinder pumps?

A.        GASD.  They will have a stock of grinder pumps to keep replacement time to a minimum.

Q.        Where will tanks be placed on homeowners’ lots?

A.        We will work with each homeowner to determine the best location of the grinder stations.

Q.        What is the horsepower for a motor?

A.        Each grinder pump is 2 HP.

Q.        How long do the motors run at a time?

A.        Each pump will run approximately three (3) to four (4) minutes to empty the tank.

Q.        Will odor be a concern due to the malfunction of a grinder pump for whatever reason?

A.        No.

Q.        Are there any restrictions as to what is flushed into the toilet or garbage disposal to the grinder pumps?

A.        Grease and chemicals should not be flushed.

Existing Septic Systems

Q.        What will happen to existing septic systems? Tanks & and lateral fields?

A.        Existing tanks will be the responsibility of the homeowner.  If the homeowner would like we can provide you with  recommendations to abandon your existing system.  GASD recommends that metal tanks be filled with pea gravel to prevent future cave in.  Lateral fields can be left in place.

Q.        How long will it take for the existing septic tank to be disconnected and the new system to be connected?

A.        Switch over will be completed the same day.

Yard Landscaping

Q.        Will trees near gravity lines be removed before construction?

A.        Yes, if it is in the line of the gravity installation.  Pressure systems and two (2) inch lines can be moved away from trees (within reason).

Q.        Will yard landscaping be put back to its original condition?

A.        Every attempt will be made to restore property to its original condition except for sod.  GASD will only reseed and mulch.


Q.        When will construction begin?  When is estimated completion?

A.        Phase IV begins fall 2018, completion early 2019.       

Q.        Will roads be accessible during construction?

A.        The Contractor will try to provide access at all times.  It may be necessary to close parts of the roads at times.  Homeowners will be given proper notice of said closures. 

Q.        How long might individual homeowners be without sewer usage while final hookups are being done?

A.        A matter of hours.

Q.        Will the sewer district replace the main drain lines under houses? 

A.        Not under the house.  The Contractor will tap into your existing line just before your septic and then construct a new line to the grinder station.

Contractors: Before Construction Starts

Q.                Can homeowner get an electronic copy (CD) of the contract with the contractor so we know what their instructions are?

A.        No an electronic copy is not be available however, a paper copy can be obtained.  Paper copies are $0.10 per page plus labor to copy.  Plans and specifications are sold to contractors for $200.

Q.        Will homeowners be given a schedule for construction on their property?  How long will the installation take?

A.        Yes, when the schedule is known.  Phase II project took 280 days (9.2 months).  This project is larger and we estimate 12 months.

Q.        When will we know who the contractors are? Subcontractors?

A.        After bids are received and contractor selected.

Q.        Will homeowners have phone numbers for contractor’s office?

A.        Homeowners should call GASD with any concerns or questions.

Q.        What kind of insurance is the contractor required to have?  Do they have a performance and maintenance bond?

A.        Yes, defined in Project Specifications.

Q.        Will contractor notify homeowner before work is to be started?  How?

A.        The Homeowners Association will be notified and in turn notify homeowners or flyers will be put up.  The names and phone numbers of The Homeowners Association will be included on all drawings to contractor for easy access.

Q.        Will contractor identify water electric and septic systems before work starts?  How? 

A.        Utilities will be identified by the Missouri One Call System. 1-800-DIG-RITE.  Homeowners will be responsible for existing individual septic systems and water lines.  We have sent out a drawing of each parcel requesting the homeowner to locate existing utilities on their property.


Contractors: During Construction

Q.        Who will be assigned from Shoreline Surveying & Engineering for on-site inspection of the sewer installation?

A.        A project inspector will be assigned for installation inspection.  This person must inspect and document all work before it is covered.  Tony Cobb, SSE will also be available as a coordinator for any installation concerns, questions, or problems.

Q.        How does homeowner contact contractor if a dispute comes up with the construction crew?

A.        Contact should be to Tony Cobb at SSE, cell phone 573-480-5405, or Jared Wheaton, cell phone 573-714-0366.

Q.        What will the contractor be instructed to do about any sewer lines near water lines?  How will exceptions be handled?  (i.e. Sewer too close to waterline.  Will sewer be encased in concrete?)

A.        All defined in Project Specifications.  Typically there must be a ten (10) foot separation laterally and eighteen (18) inch separation vertically.  This is part of the project inspector’s assignment.

Q.        Who will inspect system before ditches are backfilled?

A.        Shoreline Surveying & Engineering project inspector.

Q.        Can homeowner stop installation if a dispute comes up? (i.e. Backfilling without proper pipe bed?)

A.        No, homeowner should contact project inspector.

After Installation

Contractor must warranty system for one year after GASD accepts the complete system.  After one year GASD maintains system.  Homeowner is responsible for sewer line from home discharge to pump tank.

Q.        How is repair handled?  Who to call, GASD or service company?

A.        Homeowners will be given an adhesive label for grinder pump electric box.  This will list the phone numbers of the service company and GASD?

Q.        Will there be a time standard for a service call?

A.        Same day or within 24 hours.

General Questions

Q.        What happens if a homeowner refuses to participate in the sewer system?

A.        Because of the time constraint due to the project funding there will not be time for condemnation, which is typically what would happen.  In this case, the homeowner will be bypassed at the time of construction.  Homeowners should be aware that the District has mandatory connection.  Once the mainline is built and sewer is available the District will enforce the mandatory connection and the cost of the connection, including all equipment and materials, will be the responsibility of the homeowner.  In most cases, this will be in excess of $10,000 worth of equipment.

Q.        What happens to the sewer system when the electricity goes off for two (2) or three (3) days due to severe winter storms?

A.        Tank holds 320 gallons.  Homeowners need to be aware, historically electric service has never been off for more than one day.



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