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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Sump Pumps Must Not Drain Into Sanitary Sewers

Issue Date: March 15, 2019

Peshtigo Public Works Director George Cowell is worried about the effect high waters of the spring thaw could cause for the city's Wastewater Treatment Plant and the sanitary sewer system that runs to it.

He urged everyone to be sure their sump pumps are not connected to the sanitary sewer system, which they may be if the hose drains into a basement floor drain, and certainly are if they drain into a sink. Some may be directly connected to a household drain. If that is the case, he said the hose should be disconnected and made to run outside so the water eventually ends up in the storm sewer system.

At a meeting of Peshtigo City Council's Water and Sewer Committee on Tuesday, March 12, Cowell said if excess wastewater gets into the sanitary system and causes an overflow the DNR can order the city do a door to door inventory of all utility customers to be sure their sump pumps are not connected to the sanitary system.

Present for the meeting in addition to Cowell were Committee Chair Tom Gryzwa and members Fred Meintz and Dan Seymour, Mayor Cathi Malke, and BPM, Inc. General Manager Jim Koronkiewicz, along with Gary Motkowski.

The brief meeting agenda included closed session discussion of a proposed contract with BPM, Inc. Before calling for a motion to go into closed session Gryzwa said the committee will most likely need to have a special meeting and asked when Koronkiewicz would be available. Koronkiewicz said he could be there almost any time except for March 25 and 26.

When it came time for the closed session Koronkiewicz and Motkowski left and the meeting continued with doors closed. No action was taken after the committee returned to open session except to set the special meeting date for 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, March 19, for a closed session discussion with Koronkiewicz to be invited.

In other business at the meeting, Cowell reported his crew had to thaw two frozen sewer mains in the past month, and they are seeking the cause of some glitches at the main lift station, but mostly things are going well.

He said letters had gone out to people who are late with their utility payments, and his department may need to do some turnoffs. Last time reminder letters went to 20 customers and 18 got their payments in. Because of the snow he had not done many shut-offs.

Jeff Vorpahl will be attending a class on wastewater treatment operations in April.

To questions from the committee Cowell said the two sewer lines had frozen in the main, for which the utility is responsible, and the areas were not shallow. They were thawed by adding salt and using the jetter.

City workers are trying to keep the catch basins into the storm sewers open to facilitate drain-off.


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