St. Marys Town Council approves Inflow and Infiltration program

·2 min read

By Spencer Seymour, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

St. Marys Town Council approved a pilot project addressing stormwater and groundwater reaching the wastewater treatment center, which includes several rebate programs for 143 local properties.

Inflow and Infiltration occur when groundwater or stormwater enters the sanitary collection system requiring treatment at the wastewater treatment plant. However, the sanitary system isn't designed to handle such water. Elevated Inflow and Infiltration can lead to backups, basement flooding, collection system capacity issues, increased treatment costs, and premature expansion requirements. This has resulted in the Town treating 28 percent more water than it provides to the system.

Town staff believes the major sources of Inflow and Infiltration occur on private property and include sump pumps, eavestroughs, and foundation drains. Because of this, they proposed a two-part program to the Council. The first part would include inspection and verification and the second part would be to offer rebates for the disconnections of these sources.

These programs include an eavestrough disconnection rebate of $50 per eligible disconnection up to $200 per property; a sump pump disconnection rebate up to $350 per eligible disconnection; and a foundation drain disconnection rebate of up to $2,500 per eligible disconnection. They would be administered on a first-come, first-served basis with $75,000 allocated for rebate funds.

Originally meant to be a larger project before the pandemic, it's now a pilot program focusing on two areas of St. Marys. The first includes 115 properties within the Robinson Street Sewage Pumping drainage area bounded by Widder Street West and Maiden Line (including Ingersoll St., Markham St., Salina St., William St., Ontario St., and Robinson St.). This area was chosen because it's the largest Inflow and Infiltration contributor, providing an estimated 25 percent of Town-wide flows.

The second area includes 28 properties on Elizabeth Street (between Brock St. and Waterloo St.) and Waterloo Street (between Elgin St. and Sparling Bush). This was selected because it will be reconstructed in 2021 which includes Private Drain Connections for stormwater for each property. The pilot project was unanimously approved by the Council.

Spencer Seymour, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, St. Marys Independent