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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Investigation continues into Roachdale sewers

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

ROACHDALE -- Through communication, joint efforts and cooperation, the town and CPS are moving toward improving the pollution and storm sewer system in Roachdale.

The extent of the pollution that remains, and the cause of it, has yet to be fully determined.

"We don't know ourselves yet," Roachdale Council President Jack Jones said. "We haven't had enough rain to get samples."

CPS spokesman Pat-rick Nellenbach made a similar statement in a phone interview last week.

"The difficulty with sampling something that isn't groundwater is that you have to wait for it to rain," he said.

The clear skies of summer, a welcome sight for Roachdale residents concerned with flooding, have effectively put a stop to testing.

There are still a variety of steps that can be taken to improve the existing problems, most notably determining where in the maze of pipes it generates, and that starts with communication.

"Ideally we'd be able to work together and be a little more synergistic with (hiring contractors)," Nellenbach said. "Our relationship (with the town) seems to be getting better and I hope it continues to grow."

For several weeks the town and CPS have been jointly mapping out the storm sewer system.

Improving drainage speed, and with that flood control, is part of that process.

With pipes blocked by debris, a flow test has not been a feasible option.

The two entities have had to bring in a contractor who uses a robotic camera to go into the pipes and explore.

Nellenbach and Town Marshal Mike Mahoy each said this process has blasted storm sewers clear of debris, opening pipes and, hopefully, improving water flow.

"Blowing out some storm sewers might help flooding problems," Mahoy said. "These pipes look like brand new ones now."

When a white substance, later determined to be fertilizer, was discovered in the creek in April, the storm water flow was blocked.

Flooding in the town, already an issue during heavy rains, became a pressing hazard.

CPS the tied off the drain and has been storing water on site since.

Although the town allowed them, for a time, to release the water into the waste water sewer, that process has since been halted.

"As far as operations go (at CPS), that has changed greatly," Nellenbach said. "We've spent a lot of money trying to investigate what is on site and what other pipes are contributing to the water we've contained."

Moving forward, the key will be continuing to investigate, continuing to determine where the pipes flow, so the town and CPS will know how to divide them.

"In the past the pipes were designed for an outflow to run from both the city and the collection basin from the facility," Nellenbach said. "We operated under the premise that whatever water was going out those pipes was an acceptable water flow."

It is mutually beneficial for the storm sewer pipes that run under CPS and drain into a creek to be tied to only CPS, with the town having their storm sewer flow out of a different location.

"It is very important and we are going to continue to work," Nellenbach said. "I would imagine that we will have to make changes. We will have to make some sort of separation for the maze of pipes."

The town has chosen a more reactionary approach.

"Until the state comes back to tell us what to do, we're not going to do anything," Jones said.

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