Your Columbus City Utilities is preparing Columbus for tomorrow. Thanks to your support, we have been busy improving the City’s wastewater collection and treatment system. Much has been done, more is underway and there’s still more to do.
Columbus was one of the first Indiana communities to have state officials approve a plan corrects long-standing combined sewer overflow conditions and protects the environment. Our innovative plan eliminates overflows of untreated wastes into local rivers and streams for all but the worst rainstorm events. To make that plan work, we have constructed on a large diameter sewer, a storm pretreatment and pumping center and an 18 million gallon storage facility to hold the peak flow until it can be returned for treatment. Each of these projects will retain and create jobs, protect our environment and prepare Columbus for the future.
Other completed projects eliminate untreated overflows and correct some long standing capacity issues on the south and east side. These projects will help prevent sewer backups for many Columbus residents.
Replacing the old, unreliable, outdated treatment plant later this year is an important part of the sewer system improvement plan. Our current facility is 55 years old and it frequently experiences costly mechanical breakdowns and creates odor problems in our community.
The new facility will enable us to compete for jobs, protect the environment and will be more reliable and more energy efficient. It will also be more effective in the treatment of waste and provide odor control. The design for the state-of the-art new plant is completed and is under regulatory review. Funding for the project will use low interest loans from a state program and a rate adjustment for you and other customers. In an effort to reduce costs, we are also watching progress on the proposed Federal Stimulus package. We will seek approval of our financing plan in April and or May of this year and construction will start soon after.
Keeping the jobs that we have, competing for new jobs, protecting the environment and using tax dollars wisely---these are all of the benefits of the sewer improvement projects. Check out the Columbus Tomorrow projects we have underway:
Columbus Tomorrow Projects
Water Street Sewer
All the storm flows of the combined district come together on the west side of Water Street in the south section of downtown Columbus. Atlas Construction of West Lafayette, Indiana was chosen to construct the nearly 2,000 feet of 108” diameter sewer that will direct these peak flows away from the old overflows and to the large pump station and basins. The project is complete and operational during storm events.
Haw Creek Headworks
Several years ago Mariah Foods changed its meat packing operations and no longer needed three large basins they had used for waste pretreatment in its slaughterhouse days. Realizing the impending need for storm water storage the CCU purchased these facilities on a ten year contract. By re-utilizing this piece of property the CCU also saved considerable funds by converting these basins into storm-holding basins rather than building a completely new facility. Still, there was a great deal of work involved in transforming these earthen holding ponds into an eighteen million gallons holding facility. Higher sidewalls, concrete floor and vinyl slope walls are only some of the improvements that were made. Mixers have been installed to prevent the stored waters from becoming septic (due to oxygen depletion) and creating objectionable odors. The basin is designed to contain the runoff from a 10yr frequency storm event and return that for treatment within three days of capture. When that storm intensity is exceeded (like earlier this year) the system will capture the “first flush” of the combined sewers (thought to contain the most contaminants) and will screen and disinfect flows even after the basin is full as it overflows to the Haw Creek. Sunesis Contractors of Cincinnati was chosen in 2007 to complete this work. This project has now been completed and is operational.
The final component of the combined sewer correction program involved the construction of a 66” diameter sewer from Water Street to 15th Street along the west side of the downtown to carry flows from the final uncorrected point of combined sewer overflow to the new holding facility. Constructing a 66” pipeline, at grade, though existing underground utilities, beneath five sets of railroad tracks, under three highways and though one very busy city park provided a unique set of challenges in design and construction. S.J. Louis of Minnesota won the contract in mid 2008 and their tunneling division completed the major road and railroad crossings in November. The work was completed in the spring of 2009.
Eastside Water & Sewer
Homes in the eastern residential subdivisions have experienced sewer backups occasionally, due to infiltration and limited capacity of the trunk sewer serving this area. This project seeks to relieve the capacity constraints through the construction of over 16,000 feet of relief sewer. The CCU is also taking the opportunity to install 10,000 feet of water main to reinforce the supply for this area. TEAM contracting of Indianapolis has completed approximately 90% of this work. The second part of the department’s program to eliminate flooding problems on the eastside is to minimize the infiltration of ground water into the sewers. To this end the CCU contracted with Bowen Engineering and Insituform Inc. to install a cured in place plastic liner (CIPP) within a portion of the older cracked and leaking clay pipe. The work was completed as an energy efficiency project and under those statutory guidelines using the justification that keeping unpolluted waters from entering the system prevented unnecessary pumping and treatment. Over 10,000 lineal feet of sewer was rehabilitated and leaky lateral connections were repaired to 114 homes.
Clifty Lift Station Improvements
Located on the east end of Indiana Avenue this sewage pump station serves an area south of Tenth Street and east of Mapleton, plus the former Eastern Bartholomew Regional Sewer District as well as properties east of Taylor and South of 25th. Besides being taxed during rainfalls the old station had suffered catastrophic failure in 2008. The new pump station is complete and connected to the Eastside Sewer (above).
Southside Lift Station and Force Main
The Southside Lift Station is and was located on CR 150 W about 1 mile south of CR 200S. Capacity and age had made the previous station a liability. Repetitious ruptures in the station’s force main created unsafe conditions for residents and motorists on SR 11 in Garden City. The project consists of a new sewage pump station with increased capacity and more reliability and a new sewage force main along a new route that will coordinate the transition from our current wastewater facility to the new one under construction.
New Wastewater Treatment Facility
A key component of the wastewater improvement program is the replacement of the City’s aging, outdated and unreliable wastewater treatment plant. In 2007, the Utility Service Board chose a design team to head up this work consisting of engineers from Strand, CH2MHill and Christopher Burke Engineers. This team conducted research, along with the CCU staff, and a basic technology for treatment was chosen early in 2008. Throughout the remainder of the year the design team has addressed the myriad of details involved in designing a project of this scope.
The project is being funded through low interest loans from the State Revolving Fund and grants from the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act and the SRF Sustainability program.