Residents express concerns about South Ottumwa Sewer Separation Project

The next phase of the South Ottumwa Sewer Separation Project is scheduled to begin sometime next week.

This phase includes Richmond Ave. on the north, Ferry St. on the east, Hamilton Ave. on the south and Kettle Creek on the West.

On Monday evening, community members packed the Evans Middle School library to express their concerns and ask questions about the project.

An overwhelming majority of those that attended were worried about a couple of things in particular.

â??There's six trees on my immediate neighborhood that we're trying to save so that's our number one concern and then of course access to our driveway -- we only have one way to get out and so timelines and that sort of information would be very helpful to have. And itâ??s kind of hard that itâ??s only one week before they begin the construction so we're all a little frustrated at this point with all of it,â?? said Francesca Djordjevich, Ottumwa resident.

The city of Ottumwa has a 25-year consent order with the state of Iowa that mandates they do a certain amount of sewer separation in the city. This is due to Ottumwa being what is called a "combination sewer community."

The goal of the project is to reduce the amount of sanitary sewer flows into the Des Moines River.

Those working on the project said this phase should be finished in November.