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Aberdeen Sewer Improvements Progressing

July 21, 2014, 6:01 PM by Erich Schaffhauser

Aberdeen Sewer Improvements Progressing
ABERDEEN, SD -

Aberdeen continues to plug away at what it hopes is a solution to an ongoing problem.

During high moisture years, a lot of excess water made its way into the sanitary sewer system, overwhelming it. In fact, the city was even fined a couple years ago when it needed to release untreated water from the wastewater treatment plant to a creek.

As construction crews work to replace storm and sanitary sewer pipe in Aberdeen, south of town Peggi Badten says it's helping at the wastewater treatment plant.

"There's been a definite difference between 2010 and what we're seeing now," Badten said.

In the past, during wet years, it seemed water from the storm sewer was getting into the sanitary sewer and overwhelming the system. If nearby Moccasin Creek was high, the excess water continued for long periods of time.

Over the past few years, the city has been replacing major sewer pipes as quickly as it can afford. The efforts could be making a difference already.

The creek isn't flowing as high as it has in the past so the improvements haven't had a true test. Still, Aberdeen's city engineer is optimistic.

"Certainly we wouldn't be putting this kind of money into it if it wasn't something that we felt was going to be a big improvement," Robin Bobzien said.

The city is replacing pipe under two blocks of a street this year. It has another 18 blocks to go in the future. Badten is hopeful the continued work will make an even bigger difference than she's already seeing.

"Thankfully the creek's been low.  We haven't had a lot of really hard rains to test it but we're optimistic," Badten said.

The city did more sewer work last year. This year, other street projects ate away at the budget.

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