City Offers Free Repairs to Help Manage Stormwater

The Lawrence Waste Water Treatment Plant on the Kan-sas River has an average daily capacity of 12.5 million gal-lons. But when there’s a heavy rainfall, water enters the sanitary sewers in many places, increasing the flow into the treatment plant to a point of overload. This causes problems of extra pumping energy and extra chemicals that cost taxpayers more, and also possible overflow of untreated sewage into the Kansas River. The City has two options – either build a very expensive larger treatment plant and larger sewers or reduce the rainwater infiltration into the pipes. They have chosen to reduce the infiltration.

Lawrence has already sealed the inside of many sewer pipes, which did help the problem. The next phase is the eight year “Eco-flow Rapid Rainwater Reduction Pro-gram.” The City wants to locate where rainwater from downspouts, sump pumps, floor drains, exterior drains, damaged sewer cleanouts, and other similar places may be infiltrating the sanitary sewers. They are starting with an area which includes the Brook Creek Neighborhood. They will be evaluating many properties, both residential and commercial. It’s a voluntary program, and they hope folks will be willing to participate.

A hired contractor, Trekk Design Group, will be contacting selected properties to set up an appointment for an evalua-tion. If any incorrect discharges are found, the City will pay for any repairs, including both materials and labor. Landlords must give tenants a three-day notice of an in-side evaluation, and tenants may make the appointment themselves. Property owners have the option to select a plumber to do the repairs from a list provided by the City. For more information, call the City at 832-7800 or visit – http://www.lawrenceks.org/utilities/ecoflow

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