2011-12-07 / News

Council Discusses Flooding, Okays Engineering Study

Archbold Village Council approved an engineering study of the Archbold sanitary sewer system that could alleviate some of the decades-old flooding problems after heavy rains.

The study approved by council will allow the engineering department to spend about 200 hours of engineering time entering data into a computer-modeling program.

Once the data is entered, engineers can look at several solutions to the flooding problem.

The sanitary sewer system was plagued by flooding Tuesday, Nov. 29, after almost 6.9 inches of rain fell on already-saturated ground in eight days. One Pipe

Dennis Howell, Archbold village administrator, told council members that currently there is one 24-inch concrete pipe, 15 feet underground, that carries wastewater from the north side of the Norfolk Southern tracks to the south side.

When heavy rains fall and storm water infiltrates the sanitary sewer system, the pipe is unable to flow enough to prevent the sewers on the north side of the village from “surcharging,” or filling beyond capacity.

For several years, when heavy rains back up the sanitary sewers village workers park a large engine-driven pump at the intersection of Christine Drive and Holland Street.

The pump removes wastewater from the sanitary system and empties it into the storm sewers.

The pump was used Tuesday, Nov. 29.

He said once village offi- cials realized a problem was developing, the pump was in place and pumping within an hour.

“But that’s locking the barn after the horse has escaped,” Howell said.

He said there are a number of ways to solve the problem. The question is whether the problem is severe enough to warrant spending money on a solution.

Howell said since he became village administrator in 1998, this is only the third time the village has had to resort to pumping from the sanitary sewers to the storm sewers. Investment

Vaughn Bentz, councilman, asked if the engineering department would use “fill-in time,” or time between other projects, to input the data.

Howell said engineering department officials would rather have one engineer tackle the project and see it through.

The work is so complex, it would be difficult to constantly stop and start, he said.

Kenny Cowell, councilman, said he believes the project is a good investment.

“Eventually, we’ve got to have another crossing,” Howell said.

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