LAFAYETTE, Ind (WLFI) - Rainy days like Wednesday are the exact reason Lafayette is in the process of upgrading its sewer system.
For almost a decade, the city has had plans to use larger pipes to handle more water. Lafayette is one of more than 100 towns in Indiana to have a combined sewer overflow, or CSO issue. The city entered a statewide agreement in 2009 to address the problem.
"CSOs happen when rain combines with the sanitary sewage, over exceeds the capacity of the pipes and then it overflows out into the river,” said Lafayette Renew Superintendent Brad Talley.
The Greenbush project broke ground in September of 2017. Since then, major progress has been made. The walls, base, and deck have been completed for the tank. Its full potential will be seen during periods of heavy rain. "The flow will now divert into the CSO storage tank and be stored there until the rain event is over and the collection system catches up,” explained Talley.
Talley said 200 million gallons of storm water can be captured each year. "It improves the water quality, the environmental impacts the city has and recreational opportunities for people,” he added.
To filter that much water is no easy task. To support the demand, the tank is nearly the size of a football field. A tank of that size could be a potential eyesore.
Talley assures the only thing visible will be an electrical building and a vent structure. "It will be completely underground when we're finished. There will be two to three feet of soil over the top of the tank,” said Talley.
The project remains on schedule. It is set to be completed next summer.
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