People concerned about Decatur sewer overflow

Homeowners across Decatur are bracing for more sanitary sewer overflows.

Posted: Jan 2, 2020 8:41 PM
Updated: Jan 2, 2020 8:41 PM

With all the rain Thursday, Decatur Utilities warns homeowners more sanitary sewer overflows are expected. Most recently, more than 800,000 gallons of untreated sewage water overflowed this weekend. 

The constant rain is a recipe for disaster when it comes to overflowing sewage. It occurs when all the rain gets into cracked pipes, or leaking manhole covers. 

If there is an overflow, you will recieve a call. Workers will then mark the area with a sign and pink flags. The overflow could continue for two to three days after the rain stops. Decatur Utilities will then clean and disinfect the ara. 

While drinking water is not impacted by these overflows, people WAAY31 interviewed told us they are still concerned. 

"I've been here four months and I had no idea the sewage could overflow, and potentially threaten the neighborhood," One man said.  "I mean it's a pretty serious problem."

This has been an issue for more than a decade. Decatur Utilities has spent more than 60 Million on sewer system improvements. 

"I'm concerned because I really realize that they need to clean out these manholes on each corner of the streets," One woman in Decatur said. "So the water will go into the river, somewhere, not into families homes or their yards or whatever."

The solution to the problem will not happen overnight, according to officals with Decatur Utilities. However, the city has budgeted for more money to replace old pipes this year. 

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