User uShare Login | Register
Login
Register

Along with posting photos, videos, and stories, your uShare account lets you post Classified Ads, recipes on What's For Dinner, and Announcements.


69° View Weather Current Conditions Sioux Falls Change Location
Set Weather Options

RADAR LOCATION

TEMPERATURE LOCATION

KELOLAND.com | Sioux Falls News & Weather, South Dakota News & Weather, Minnesota and Iowa News

[0] My Saved Articles
Find local businesses
on the KELO Pages!

 

Sewer Solutions

December 14, 2011, 10:00 PM by Erich Schaffhauser

Sewer Solutions
ABERDEEN, SD - When a city's sanitary sewer has a problem, a lot of other people can lso have problems including sewer back-up in homes and sewage being pumped into rivers or creeks.

Aberdeen has been working to correct trouble spots in its aging system. Sometimes, there's more water passing through the wastewater treatment plant than it can handle.

"We never know exactly from spring to spring what's going to happen, what's going to come," Superintendent Pete Hesla said.

This past spring there was so much extra water passing through the plant, some of it had to be pumped directly into nearby Moccasin Creek.

"We don't have a permit that allows us to do that so obviously we don't want to do that if we don't have to," Hesla said.

Water flows are below the max the plant can handle now, so it's in good shape. But in the recent past when there's been flooding, the plant has seen more than 20 million gallons come in a day when it can only handle nine million.

Under the streets of Aberdeen lie aging sanitary sewer pipes that eventually lead to the plant. They've developed leaks over time. So, when there's more water around, there's more getting into the system.

"I can recall a time some 20 years ago when we were amazed at ten-million-gallon flows. And now we're seeing flows in excess of 20. And I think that speaks to how the system is degrading," Hesla said.

City engineer Robin Bobzien agrees. His department has been looking for solutions.

"It's a huge problem, a lot of feet of pipe throughout the whole town," Bobzien said.

Kline Street is one area that has a pipe under it that may be causing a lot of problems. The city suspects water is leaking from the storm sewer pipes into the sanitary sewer.  So, plans are in the works to replace them.

But that is just one place. The city's been working with a consultant to figure out other potential problem spots. It's been sending cameras through the aging pipes and is still reviewing video from that. It's using other methods as well.

But finding the problem is just the beginning. The city has to pay to fix it as well. The repair work that would happen on Kline Street comes in at about $1,000 per foot.

"When you're getting into that kind of money, you don't want to spend it in the wrong spots," Bobzien said.

So, the city is trying prioritize problem spots. Bobzien figures the city could afford a couple million dollars of repairs per year for the next few years.

"I think over the next couple years, you'll see a dramatic improvement in what the wastewater treatment plant is seeing," Bobzien said.

Hesla hopes that's true. In his decades at the plant, he's seen the problem getting worse with water getting into the system from sources including Moccasin Creek.

"We've taken hundreds of fish off our bar screen in previous springs," Hesla said.

For now, he has holding ponds ready to take excess if flooding hits this spring again. The city hopes efforts will prevent flooding from leading to an automatic overload south of the city at the treatment plant.

"The problem is only going to get worse as our infrastructure ages so we need to keep looking for those problem spots and not become complacent because we've gotten a few million dollars of pipe replaced," Bobzien said.

The city is also applying for grant money so it can afford to make more progress in a year.

Previous Story

Next Story


Comments







 
Find Local Businesses on KELO Pages!

View featured stories

You may also like

Dual Credit Helps Offset College Costs

7/16/2014 10:15 PM

South Dakota students now have a way to reduce the cost of their college education while they're still in high school.

Full Story | Watch
Strategies To Fill Rural Positions

7/22/2014 10:00 PM

Sitting along U.S. Highway 12, the town of Roscoe in central Edmunds County isn't very big. That's where Nathan Locken is trying to find worke...

Full Story | Watch
Inside KELOLAND: 24/7 Sobriety Program, Sioux Falls Events, Arc of Dreams

7/20/2014 3:30 PM

Since its beginnings South Dakota's 24-7 sobriety program's goal is to keep people sober and out of jail.

Full Story | Watch
Treacherous Training

7/17/2014 10:02 PM

Firefighters do more than put out fires. This time of year, they can find themselves braving rushing waters to save a person who might be in trou...

Full Story | Watch
Cyclists In The City

7/21/2014 9:55 PM

For some people, learning to ride a bike is the oldest memory they have. It's something you can do at a young age.

Full Story | Watch


Events