What About The Small Stuff?

We are no longer informed of emergency repairs, water leaks, or Public Works projects underway. There seem to be excavations all over town.

For the first time in my memory I’ve seen large high pressure vacuum trucks cleaning either storm sewers or sanitary sewer lines in the area.  Maybe because we’re not getting any rain?  Or we have so many more bathrooms???  They somehow blew water back through a residential system – one of my neighbors said they spent a weekend cleaning kitchen and baths with bleach and Lysol after the eruption!

Are the existing storm sewer lines inspected and cleared on a regular basis to provide more space for detention and to accelerate drainage?  This was included in the draft report from the Flood Mitigation Task Force: ‘Develop a schedule to perform routine maintenance, inspections, and repairs to storm water infrastructure.’  But in the report it’s not scheduled until 2020.  Why?  This seems like a high priority for our street flooding problems.

Rebuilding a sewer inlet, Beech at South Rice.

The next day, after completion, the grate has been replaced.

The City is lax about enforcing the EPA standards to prevent runoff from construction sites into the storm water drains.

And what about inspecting a project before the contractor closes it in or replaces the grates on jobs like this one at South Rice and Beech.  Photos show a storm sewer line full of mud, bricks, and debris from a construction project to rebuild sewer inlets last December.  The corner at South Rice and Chestnut was almost as bad.

Both sites were closed up the next day, no clean-out.  Rainwater will supposedly clean out the sewer lines, but can a mild rain remove this much sediment and debris?  Especially if it sets up for a month or more during our drought periods?

I sent these and other photos to City Council, the City did nothing to clean out the sites.  Perhaps I was unduly alarmed.