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Granite Falls Council looking at $2.8M sewer system upgrade

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GRANITE FALLS -- It will cost an estimated $2.8 million to correct deficiencies in Granite Falls' aging sanitary sewer system.

City Council members are committed to moving forward with the work, said City Manager Bill Lavin, but must now decide issues ranging from how to fund and assess the improvements, and whether to take on all the projects at once.

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Dozens of basements in the community were flooded when sanitary sewer lines backed up last summer during large rain events. That led council members to order a study of the sanitary system, which included televising the lines in known problem areas.

A variety of problems were identified in those areas, according to the report by David Berryman, city engineer with Rodeberg and Berryman Engineering, Montevideo. City Council members heard the report Monday at their meeting.

There is significant inflow and infiltration of storm sewer and ground water into the sanitary lines. There were also problems with obstructions and deterioration of segments of pipe. The report identified five different areas of the system where it recommends replacing the lines. The top priority is a line running between the Minnesota River and residences on Prentice Street south of the former City Hall. The line carries a substantial share of the volume of discharge from the city's west side to a lift station and the waste treatment plant.

The report also identified areas on the west side of the community along 10th and 11th Avenues and Ninth and 16th Streets as priorities for replacement.

Along with reducing the potential for basement flooding, the replacements are needed to reduce the inflow and infiltration problems that overwhelm the city's wastewater plant during large rain events. The volumes reaching the plant exceed its capacity, and the city has been forced to bypass the plant during some large flow periods.

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has ordered the city to develop a bypass elimination plan by July 2011 and to end all bypasses by July 2016.

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Tom Cherveny
Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.
(320) 214-4335
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