Commissioners, developers peek at sewer plan
If Eudora's ultimate sewer plan were seen as a puzzle, both developers and the city could be in charge of putting together the pieces.
The need for cooperation in growth became a recurring theme in a presentation by City Engineer Brian Kingsley to the Eudora Planning Commission on the state of the city's sewer system.
Kingsley presented the information to the commission and real estate developers during the Feb. 1 meeting.
"Without rainfall we're a little over a third of capacity," Kingsley said.
Although the presentation tackled issues concerning the sewer system's growth potential, it also served as a tool to educate the commissioners on the current status of the city's sewer lines and problems affecting them.
Kingsley focused on inflow and infiltration challenges that occurs when the system is bombarded by excess water caused by surging storm water or other sources.
"We knew we needed to address storm water retention at the plant," Kingsley said.
In the summer of 2004, several storms pushed the wastewater treatment plant to its capacity, Kingsley said.
"There was water flowing everywhere during that rainstorm," Kingsley said
The deluge helped Kingsley analyze the limits of the current system.
"Certainly not on average, the plant couldn't handle 1,082 gallons of water per minute, but you're not seeing anything close to that," Kingsley said. "Once the rain subsided and the plant caught up, everything went back to operating normal," Kingsley said.
The spike from the rainstorm highlighted a flow monitoring report by Kingsley's firm, BG Consultants.
During the course of the speech, Kingsley presented slide after slide showing the breadth of the current system.
"Without the rain we have plenty of capacity. With the rain, we start having problems," he said.
After pointing out the topographical layout of the surrounding area, Kingsley updated the planning commission on work done to bring the east interceptor online.
The city completed the east interceptor project earlier in the summer.
"Ideally, we'd build gravity sewers along the streams so that as houses will be built up top, they would flow through a gravity main," Kingsley said.
The philosophy behind the current structure and its current problems led to Kingsley's presentation of the ultimate sewer plan.
Both Kingsley and past engineers envisioned development occurring off the east interceptor.
"We've actually used this map when Deer Valley came in," Kingsley said.
Deer Valley is a proposed subdivision to be built near Intech Business Park.
Noting the city lacks funds to extend sewer lines and mains, Kingsley used the Deer Valley project as an example for other gathered developers.
"Part of what we're accomplishing tonight is letting the developers know, if you've heard some of my messages ---- Deer Valley is a really good example ----it's better to build near the existing infrastructures, than near the extremities," Kingsley said.
Deer Valley agreed to help cover the cost of adding bigger pipes to connect to the current system.
The ultimate map could guide future developers as it guided Deer Valley.
"We can have them build their ultimate piece of this puzzle," Kingsley said.
Before the question and answer period, Kingsley focused on what could be done to help fix the inflow and infiltration problem.
The city is already at work on a preliminary engineering plan, Kingsley said. But he warned the repairs could be costly.
"You're talking hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of work," Kingsley said.
During the question period, Planning Commissioner Patrick Jankowski inquired about the possibility of adding a second treatment plant.
City administrator Cheryl Beatty said the current plant would serve the city's needs for some time.
"We'd have to see very significant growth ---- 20-, 40-, 50- thousand people before a second plant became feasible," Beatty said.
Other long-term sewer improvements include what would eventually be a $4 million southeast interceptor and more than $1.9 million worth of work to go into the middle interceptor.