August 20, 2018 County-City Building Council Chambers 4th floor, 6-8 pm
Present: Jo Broden, Jake Teshka, Oliver Davis, Tim Scott, Karen White, Regina Williams-Preston
Purpose: Hear the results of the Lawson-Fisher Sewer Survey and their recommendations for four neighborhoods - Emerson Avenue area, Riverside S. of Barlett, Northshore Triangle, Keller Park
NOTE: CSO Portion of the Agenda was postponed until later. It was suggested it be scheduled within the next 2 weeks.
St. Joseph River has a drainage area of 4,865 miles and is 206 miles long. It has 12 dams along it. Several are power producing dams under Federal regulation (FERC). Those that are for power have to keep the same water level coming in as going out and only have a rise of 6".
In February of 2018 there was a total snowfall of 29.6", which is 14.6" above normal, all within the first 17 days of February followed by 3 days of rain on the 19th - 21st. This is the 7th snowiest February on record followed by 8" of rain. 5" was the previous high rain in February.
Between the snow and the rain, this resulted in a 25,300 cubic feet per second flow, which is how they consider it a "2,500 year event flood".
August 15th and 16th of 2016 there was 8.5" of rain that fell in 19 hours which resulted in a 9,000 cubic feet per second flow, which is how they decided this was a "1,000 year flood event."
They sent out a Questionnaire and got these responses:
Emerson - 5, Riverside - 10, Triangle - 105, Keller Park - 32, Other 48
They think this is an excellent response level and sampling.
Emerson Avenue Area - It has a 36" CSO. At the time of the flood, CSO #33 and CSO #35 were under 10' of water over them making it impossible for them to empty and they had backflow. This area has high ground water.
Riverside Area - CSO #10 is a relief point and it was under water. This has a 12" Throttle Pipe. This area has high ground water.
Triangle Area - There is an 84" combine pipe and has CSO #5 and CSO #25. The trunk sewer was under water. Triangle area has County, City and ND. They did "ground truthing" for the 10" and 18" pipes around Angela Blvd. Marquette to Angela is where the pipe goes from 18" down to 10".
They did a video survey to see if the pipes were clear. EmNet sewer monitoring reprorted CSO #4 did not go back down until *May 5th*. Some pipes were obstructed. This area has high ground water.
Keller Park Area - CSO #2 was under water and this area has high groundwater.
- Evaluate current design
- Offer basement valve program (which they do, but residents report a 40% failure rate on these)
- Homeowners need to take responsibility and seal the cracks in their basement walls and floors
- City needs to educate residents on options and ways to prevent problems
- Disconnect downspouts to reduce flow into sewers
- Have lateral lines inspected between home and sewer since many are over 100 years old
- Research having a flood / sewer notification system to this area
- Routine video, cleaning and assessment of lines
- FEMA assistance grants to buy homes from flood victims in the 100 year flood plane area
- 10" pipe along Angela may not be enough since it has an 18" pipe flowing into it
- Have the City install stormwater backflows
- Evaluate the 12" Throttle pipe on Riverside
- Work with ND / Holy Cross to control the large amount of runoff towards Angela Blvd.
Public was given only 3 minutes to express their concerns about their homes and damage.
NOTE: These are only SUMMARIZED. For exact quotes, please refer to the video of the meeting.
* Jeff Jacob, an attorney from Zionsville is representing neighbors in the Northshore Triangle area on the backflow issues.
- He saw no significant upgrade recommendations
- Sewer budget is underfunded
- Wants to hear from EmNet to find out if the "Smart Sewers" worked as they were supposed to
* Bruce Harris on W. Angela
- Commented the campus drains all come together and he thinks all their water runoff is raising the ground water tables
- Wants to know if these drains were ever properly permitted
* Barbara Sutton, President of the Northshore Triangle Association has lived there since 1985.
- Believes in Climate Change since there have been 2 events - 2016 and 2018 and thinks it will happen again in the next 10 years
- Workshop needs to be held on how residents can seal the cracks in both the walls and floors
- Neighborhood is still not back to normal
- Citizens still need support
* Mary Wood has lived in her house 27 years
- Why isn't the City maintaining sewer lines well?
- 3' of water in her basement and she lost her furnace, washer, dryer and everything else
* Larry Miller - Worked in sewer department for over 7 years
- SB Sewers are in really bad shape
- Work that was paid to get done didn't get done
- Roosevelt sewer in Keller Park is flat on top and needs to be replaced so it doesn't cave in
- Sherman sewer caved in 3 times
- Concrete is deteriorating and streets will continue to cave in
* Tim Scott, Council President, lives in the Triangle
- There continues to be sewage backup in Keller Park
- Portage to Oakwood has black sewage backing up and it is on high ground
- Wants video of sewer lines in this area
* Dawn Hopkins
- Has a backflow valve and it has failed. She continues to have the same issues.
- In 2016 she had a 3' geyser coming out of her toilet
- In 2018 still had 18" in her basement
- These problems are a threat to public health
* Laura Klepper (sp?) is a scientist
- Her basement had 20x higher eColi level than allowed by law
- Thinks this will continue to happen in the next 10-20 years
- Says World Health Organization says to go away from CSO's
- Wants to see computer modeling on 10" / 18" pipe issue
- Wants to know if ALL the Northshore lines have been examined
- Why aren't there routine inspections and maintenance of all sewers?
* Helen has lived in Inglewood for 50 years
- Wants to know why there is always 2" of water in the basements of all those on her street corner and not in other parts
* Tricia has lived on Academy Place for 23 years next to a storm drain
- Her basement floods every year so she has stopped using it
* (Didn't catch name)
- Thinks Waste Water Treatment Plant is at risk
- Problems are not new
- Backflow Preventers are not warranted for sewage
* Christian Carlson on Riverside Hill
- 2001 to 2016 has had 3 floods of water and sewage
- 2017 no water
- 2018 black water sewage in the basement and can no longer use it
- Several weeks ago again had black water sewage
- Can't find the man hole covers in the alley since City has graded over them
- Wife has Asthma and can't live in the home when this happens
- Blackflows have 40% failure rate
- Wants to know if "Double Valves" are better
* Brian Profit on Marquette Avenue
- Wants a notification system in place
* Al Kirsits on Marquette Avenue was formerly Council-At-Large on the City Council
- Passed an $88M bond while he was on Council to fix issues and wants to know why issues haven't been fixed
- 51" CSO pipe at Leeper Park is of concern
- It's not a separated system if sewage is getting into people's homes
- Concerned about the 10" pipe to accomodate the ND / Holy Cross flow
- Property values have dropped because of this
- Problems with both his home and his mother's
- They want to increase tolerance levels from 6 hours to 24 hours
- They have done video on 30K feet of sewer
- They are looking into notification
Michiana Observer's previous article on the Flood and Sewers: http://www.michianaobserver.com/blog/meeting-notes-for-the-flood-update-utility-committee-meeting
Michiana Observer's Original Coverage of the 2018 Flood with extensive detail: www.michianaobserver.com/blog/northshore-triangle-flood-update-meeting
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Citizens attending community events to inform other Citizens.