Sanger plans sewer survey

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City will examine wastewater system to pinpoint flaws

SANGER — City officials plan to conduct a wastewater survey this spring or summer to help find flaws in the sewer system and identify temporary solutions until a new wastewater plant is constructed.

City Manager Mike Brice said Sanger’s wastewater system has infiltration issues. One problem is that the drainage system overloads and causes spillage when there is heavy rainfall in a short period of time.

“This is basically rainwater that infiltrates into the sewer system,” Brice said. “This overloads the treatment plant, causing events like we had last spring.”

Last spring, at least two residents complained about wastewater overflowing onto their property. City officials said they will conduct a citywide study of the wastewater system to identify areas that need improvements, Brice said.

Brice said the survey will take place along some of the system’s oldest parts. The survey will identify inflow and infiltration issues and methods to correct them, he said.

The city received a $316,000 community development block grant to replace and install a larger trunk line into the sewer plant. The line serves the older part of town and is also a source of much of the rainwater infiltration. The line will be replaced during 2013-14, Brice said.

“This will buy us more time before we have to build a new treatment plant,” he said.

Last spring, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality cited the city for failure to prevent unauthorized discharge of wastewater.

A Sanger resident reported wastewater spillage on her land after heavy rains in a short timeframe. According to the report, the city replaced manhole covers and bolted them down to prevent future overflowing.

An estimated 1,500 gallons overflowed from Sanger’s wastewater system, according to the TCEQ’s report.

The violation has since been addressed by city officials, but the possibility of overflow still remains.

Sanger resident Joe Falls also reported that he experienced spillage on his property.

Falls owns land that surrounds a city wastewater treatment plant. He said he called officials last spring after the facility overflowed and wastewater overflowed from nearby manhole covers.

“The city needs to work faster before this happens again,” Falls said. “We have a lot of filter problems we need to address and fix before another rain comes through and we have this problem again and more often.”

Officials say the city’s greatest and most expensive need is a new wastewater treatment plant.

The cost of a new plant is estimated at $25 million, which would be financed over a 20- to 40-year period.

Brice said Sanger is still several years away from beginning construction on the plant, which will force the city to incur debt.

Building a new plant is necessary to handle future growth, he said.

JOHN D. HARDEN can be reached at 940-566-6882. His e-mail address is jharden@dentonrc.com .


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