Sewer separation or not. Storm water causes sewage back-ups.



Last night at a special board meeting, the Village officials of Shorewood indicated that we must keep the present combined sewer system that will send back excrement into the basements of citizens' homes, as one person reported happened to her during two rains within the past fifteen days.


The Village president indicated that sewer separation will not assure against seepage of sanitary waste.


This may be true or may not be true, but relying on the present system where storm water pressure is more likely to cause problems doesn't seem the best way to go. 


Now we've decided to go on a fact hunting exercise by use of a magic “scientific” fact finding survey.


We seem to be ignoring the FACT that sewer back-ups do not happen in dry weather but when it rains.


Conclusion: rain water run-off sends water into our combined sewer system, the sewers that do not have the capacity to handle it, so the mixture backs up into the lowest sources of the houses, the basements.


It is the rain water that is taxing the capacity, so if we separate the rain water from the sanitary flow, we will not get back up of excrement in our basements. The storm water sewers will have no connection with our basements. 


The Shorewood Village Board is strongly inclined toward keeping the combined system and this is the real problem.  Members were irritated at suggestions that tinkering with the existing system might be a waste of time and money. The Board did not want to deal with the question of “how do we develop a separate system as efficiently as possible?”  I think this is a mistake.


It doesn't make any difference who the Board members are presently or over a 20-year period, as it can be seen at Board meetings that they depend on their professionals and that they engage in a cultural process of discussion which more often than not ends up in passing the proposals presented.


Last night the proposal was to work within the context of a combined system and that became the charge to sewer engineering consultant.  Together, professionals and Board members seem to have information that does not make sewer separation a logical approach to them. Is there some science to this?


Why doesn't sewer separation make sense?  I don't want to see the Village make this mistake but it seems that they are headed in that direction. 


(Where do I stand? Please read previous posting).

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