Archive for Wednesday, November 29, 2000

Growth taxing sewer system

November 29, 2000

At a special meeting tonight, Tonganoxie City Council will dig into details about the city's sewer system.

The meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. in the council chambers.

According to city administrator Chris Clark, the city must devise a plan to prevent water from entering the sanitary sewer system.

At times, storm water gets into the system, Clark said. And older pipes in the city could have cracks that would allow water to seep into sewer pipes.

The city is seeking about $400,000 in state loans for sewer system upgrades, and adopting a plan is one of the requirements of using the state funds.

Those problems also translate into dollars for taxpayers if the city's sewage treatment plant is processing what essentially is clean water.

"What we want to do is be effective in our use of money," Clark said. "The city treats all the water that enters into the system."

Also on tap tonight will be a discussion about upgrading the sewage treatment plant.

"We need to get moving on putting a plan in place to do the work on that," Clark said.

The last renovation of the plant was completed in 1978, he said, and many of the state and federal regulations governing treatment plants have changed in the past 22 years. A federal operation permit expires in about a year. In addition, Tonganoxie's growth is taking a toll on the plant. So the plant's water refining processes should be upgraded and the plant should be expanded, Clark said.

"It's fairly close to capacity," Clark said.

The problem with water seeping into sewer pipes pushes the plant closer to operating at capacity.

"During rainy seasons, we are very, very close to capacity," Clark said. "If we could solve that, that makes the plant that much more efficient."

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