The City of Greenwood, IN

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November 22, 2016

Greenwood offers $100 credit to residents who “Find It, Fix It”
New credit, available in 2017, designed to reduce inflow into sanitary sewer system

GREENWOOD, Ind. – In another effort to reduce improper inflows into the area’s sanitary sewer system, the Greenwood Common Council yesterday evening approved a new $100 credit opportunity for sanitary sewer customers. The credit, available beginning Jan. 1 and through Dec. 31, 2017, is the latest component of Greenwood’s “Find It, Fix It” campaign launched earlier this year.

To receive the credit, Greenwood is requesting that homeowners provide proof of compliance for their home connections, which must be certified by a licensed plumber, home inspector or professional engineer. A compliance form can be found on the city’s website, and once completed, it should be returned to the Greenwood Finance Department.

The $100, nonrefundable credit will cover homeowners’ costs to obtain such certification and provide incentive to correct improper connections. Greenwood estimates nearly 10,000 homes in the area currently have improper sump pump and/or downspout connections.

“Illegal connections from sump pumps and downspouts cause numerous challenges for both the city’s sanitary sewer system and individual homes and businesses,” said Greenwood Mayor Mark W. Myers. “Fixing these improper connections will reduce sewage backups, decrease treatment costs and prevent potentially harmful pathogens from being released into public spaces.”

The “Find It, Fix It” campaign seeks to reduce inflow and infiltration (I&I), terms used to describe unwanted groundwater entering into a sewer system. Inflow occurs via illegal home connections, most often through foundation drains, roof drains, downspouts and sump pumps. Infiltration takes place more gradually, when groundwater seeps into cracked, leaky or broken pipes or manholes leading to the sewage line.

Sanitary sewer systems transport wastewater from inside a home or business via toilets, bathtubs, showers and sinks. These pipes are designed to carry a fixed capacity of wastewater, but when groundwater

enters through I&I, the systems reach their capacity at a much faster rate. When this happens, wastewater surcharges the system causing flooding of basements and releasing wastewater into Greenwood’s streets, rivers and streams.

And while Greenwood is asking residents to identify and fix their home connections, the city is doing its part to alleviate the problem as well. Mayor Myers pointed to the Greenwood Public Library’s new rain garden as an example.

“Rain gardens are an excellent way to help address this issue, especially during heavy rain events,” said Myers. “The library’s rain garden, and others we’re planning throughout the city, provide an aesthetically pleasing method for reducing groundwater runoff.”

Greenwood is also working to assess, clean and rehab sewer pipes and manholes throughout the city. Myers said Greenwood is spending $7.5 million during the next three years on these projects.

“It’s a team effort, requiring both residents and the city to do their part,” said City Engineer Mark Richards.

Richards noted that just one sump pump can contribute more than 7,000 gallons of excess water to the sewer line in a 24-hour period, which is equal to the average daily wastewater flow from 26 homes.

Residents who identify an improper connection, or need assistance doing so, are instructed to contact the city at (317) 887-4711.

On Monday, Greenwood’s Common Council also approved a series of rate increases necessary to fund the Western Regional Interceptor Sewer project, a major sewer relief project, which will be the largest capital project in the City’s history. The project’s design plans call for the installation of 10 miles of pipeline throughout White River Township, which is serviced by Greenwood’s sanitary sewer system. Total cost of the project could range from $60- to $70 million.