Sanitary Sewer Capacity Improvement Plan
Sanitary sewer backups and overflows are caused by the same issue, defects in pipes and manholes that allow groundwater and stormwater into the sewer system, but the City views the solutions to these two outcomes differently.
Eliminating Sanitary Sewer Backup Issues
The City recognizes that sanitary sewer backups are a prime concern of residents and their quality of life. The only way to eliminate backups during all rain events is for property owners with basement-level drain fixtures to install a sanitary sewer backup prevention device. The City offers residents a reimbursement for some of these improvements with the Sewer Backup Prevention Program.
Reducing Sanitary Sewer Overflows
Sanitary sewer overflows are generally less of a concern to residents since they occur on public rights-of-way and easements and typically do not result in private property damage, but they are a violation of the Clean Water Act, a public health hazard, and degrade the local environment.
Sanitary sewer overflows occur when certain sections of the sanitary sewer system become overburdened by stormwater and groundwater entering through defects in the system. When this occurs, the combined wastewater and stormwater and/or groundwater flows out of manholes and onto City streets and easements, then overland into the nearest stormwater conveyance system prior to flowing into local water bodies.
The City’s Solution
To eliminate overflows during a 10-year storm event, the City has revised the Sanitary Sewer Capacity Assurance Plan with a long-term perspective. The updated plan includes reimbursing residents for reducing private property infiltration reduction with the Service Line Reimbursement Program and the Foundation Footing Tile Disconnection Reimbursement Program. Meanwhile, the City will reduce inflow and infiltration from the public portion of the sewer system and increase the conveyance capacity of the sewer system by replacing select sewer mains.