by Michael Sticht
Regarding your recent article about sewers.
I firmly believe that functional sewers are the most basic requirement of civilization and I have a few comments on your recent article about area sewer issues.
I do not consider holding complexes an acceptable strategy for dealing with excess runoff. The holding complex in Depew produces odors which undermine quality of life over a large area. More to the point, these holding areas waste money that should be spent on eliminating the leakage of rainwater that overwhelms the system. The system is completely adequate to handle sanitary sewage minus rain leakage.
The answer to the problem is first, to replace every clay pipe sewer line in the system. Clay pipe leaks at every joint which means every few feet. Ground saturation running into these joints erodes tunnels in the ground which become conduits for runoff to enter directly into the system.
Secondly, plastic pipe is great underground but plastic vent pipes should be eliminated. My neighborhood has had all new plastic sewer lines installed, but as I walk around the neighborhood I notice that many of these new plastic vent pipes have been hit by cars or lawnmowers, breaking them off at ground level and allowing storm water to run in.
And yes, this will all cost a lot of money, but I don’t think that many of us will consider a return to the days of typhoid epidemics an acceptable alternative.
Finally, arguments about who pays for this are a waste of time. We all pay for it regardless of what level of government it goes through. Since everyone in the state needs sewersperhaps the state should take over the whole process. The fact sewage runs downstream undermines the motivation of municipalities to pay to solve the problems of their downstream neighbors.
> Michael Sticht, Lancaster
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