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Heavy Rains Emphasize Need For Clear Drainage System

June 11, 2014, 5:55 PM by Jared Ransom

Heavy Rains Emphasize Need For Clear Drainage System
SIOUX FALLS, SD -

Over the past three years, thousands of feet of drainage-ways were re-built to improve water flow after heavy rains.

"In the last nine days, our city has received just over five inches of rain, and really that brings forward the importance of having a well-run, well-managed storm sewer collection and conveyance system," Mark Cotter said.

Any increase in drainage fees for Sioux Falls residents goes to building and maintaining channels like this.  What used to be a series of trees and shrubs is now a cleared-out channel system helping this neighborhood on 69th Street send water out faster.

"We come in, we remove a lot of those obstacles, the trees and cattails, put in a conveyance system that will convey the water safely, keep it in the easement and move it down stream," Drainage Engineer Andy Berg said.

This only took two months to build and was finished last November at a cost of around $300,000. As the city continues to expand, newer additions could see a channel system just like this.

"If the development has enough significant topographic or elevation change in it where a drainage way is the best fit for it, yeah, the developers will typically put that in," Berg said.

To go along with these drainage channels, there are certain things home owners can do to help with their own drainage situation.

"Making sure that the gutters are clean, the branches and leaves aren't plugging them up. When it gets to that down spout, also making sure that the down spout is carrying the water away from your foundation," Berg said.

City crews also do a lot of work keeping waste out of the storm sewer system. Crews have removed 46,000 tons of debris the last three years, preventing clogs and backed-up water.

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