Washing away a city's sewer problems

Broken sewer lines in Fairfield that have been located and repaired.

The City of Fairfield is planning major repairs to their failing sanitary sewer system.

Wastewater-plant Superintendant Shawn Worley says the cityâ??s sewer system has many problems, with one being the wastewater plant itself. The plant was shutdown on March 9th after 459,000 gallons of untreated sewage started flowing into Crow Creek. City administrator Kevin Flannagin said all storm water and sanitary sewer mains were connected almost a century ago with the belief that this would reduce pollution when it rains. Now that cities treat their sewage in plants the amount of water is too much for the sanitary sewer to hold. The wastewater plant is only designed to handle 4 million gallons a day, and a heavy rain can force the plant to treat 17 to 18 million gallons because of the and infiltration of rainwater. Worley said an estimated $30 million project to fix these issues is underway.

â??This project will basically cover a 15 -20 year period with the majority of the construction phase happening in the first three phases,â?? Worley explained, â??and that will be a period of seven to eight years.â??

The city plans to fix the mains on the eastside of town first. Worley says they are doing the project in phases because it is not financially possible to do everything at once. The project will begin in the spring of 2014.