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Heavy rains overwhelmed Granite Falls sewer system

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GRANITE FALLS -- Heavy rains overwhelmed the sanitary sewer system in Granite Falls, causing sewage to back up into the basements of dozens of homes in the community during the Thursday night storm.

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Rainfall amounts in the city totaled between 5½ to 6 inches from the storm. The rain fell at a rate greater than three inches an hour.

City Manager Bill Lavin was among those who spent a sleepless night cleaning up as the sanitary sewer system backed up into the basement of his home.

He said this morning that city crew members brought out portable pumps to relieve the pressure on the sewer system at locations throughout the community.

The gush of water forced the city's wastewater treatment plant to bypass 1.1 million gallons of untreated effluent during the previous 24-hour period. The amount of water reaching the plant was still exceeding its treatment capacity, he said.

The pumps set up by city workers were keeping ahead of the water flow and water levels in the backed-up basements were receding.

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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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