Archive for Thursday, December 8, 2005

Sewage system still city priority

December 8, 2005

As Eudora's growth continues to be constrained by the capacity and condition of its sewer lines, city officials work to keep existing pipes flowing smoothly.

Currently the city is focusing on two major issues -- acquiring a backup generator for the water treatment plant and repairing the middle sewer interceptor.

Eudora residents will soon see trucks from Mayer Specialty Services LLC in town videoing the city's existing pipelines in an effort to scope out problem areas. If the camera technicians find problems, such as cracks within the aging pipes, the city would fix them.

"A cost effective way would be to just line it," Eudora City Administrator Cheryl Beatty said.

If the pipes were not lined, the city would be forced to execute options like tearing the pipes out of the ground and completely replacing them.

The sewer surveillance will also help the city control a major issue with the current system known as inflow and infiltration. By finding areas where excess water infiltrates the sewer system, the city would be able to cut down on major processing fees, Beatty said.

The city uses other tactics to prevent infiltration, such as inspecting and sealing manhole covers and prohibiting citizens from letting sump pumps connect to the sewer system if used for reasons other than wastewater.

As the city is looking at how to deal with inflow problems, it is also looking t boosting its service area.

Another possible project for the future would be the construction of another sewer interceptor parallel to the city's current middle interceptor. If built, the parallel line could double the service capacity.

The city finished another major project during the summer when its eastern sewer interceptor went online.

The completion of the interceptor opened up new land for development east of Eudora.

"I see developers following what is the least expensive to build," Beatty said.

The city paid for the east interceptor with a loan from the Kansas State Department of Health and Environment.

The department loaned the city $4.9 million to fund the project, and by the beginning of 2005 the city had repaid more than a quarter of the total loan.

To pay for work to address the city's infiltration problem, the city will take a different route.

"It is likely that we will raise the rate to be equal with the state average," Beatty said.

Currently, the state average is around $28 to $32 per month, Beatty said.

Discussion concerning the possible rate hike will take place at the next city council meeting at 7:30 p.m. Monday at Eudora City Hall, 4 East Seventh St.

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