Archive for Thursday, May 4, 2006

City right to pursue disconnects

May 4, 2006

City officials, starting with City Administrator Cheryl Beatty, have put Eudora home and businessowners on notice that any basement drains or sump pumps emptying into the city's wastewater lines need to be disconnected.

It's not likely to be a popular move. At this newspaper, we've fielded calls from homeowners angry their basements flooded because the sewer backed up, sometimes with little or no rainfall.

But unhappy property owners need to realize wastewater systems aren't meant to be stormwater systems. Excessive stormwater decreases the useful capacity of sewer lines and the sewer plant. It is environmentally unfriendly because it decreases the treatment time by cycling admittedly diluted inflow through the treatment process at a faster rate.

They also need to realize their own basement drainage systems are contributing to the back-up problems they are experiencing.

Not all the groundwater infiltration can be attributed to basement drains and sump pumps. With time, roots penetrate sewer lines, allowing ground water to seep in. It requires expensive line replacement to address that issue.

Those with basement drains and sump pumps that connect to the sewer will have an expense to disconnect. In return, they will get the assurance of knowing every thunderstorm doesn't threaten to flood their basements with sewage.

That should be a fair trade, but it would seem the city should be ready to help seniors unable to cut costs through their manual labor or those for whom the change would be a financial hardship.

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