Just Shelley

Two utilities one sewer connection

Some of you might remember about our problems with our sewer connection.

Well, now we’re literally caught between two public utilities and the source of meetings between two communities.

Public Water District has long planned on moving their force main to a new system, and dump into brand new gravity main north of us. They upgraded their pumps for their new connection and new 24 inch force main. Well, they’re still dumping into their small, older force main (12 inch) that dumps into the even smaller, older gravity main where we happen to be connected. Our connection is literally right above where they dump.

The term is ‘surcharge’. It’s when the manhole is overwhelmed by the discharge flow.

When we were hit in February, the force was enough to shake our house. It backflowed into the new shower, and through the wax seal on one toilet. It threatened to destroy our plumbing, maybe even our house, until O’Fallon sewer workers got Water District 2 to back the hell off.

That wasn’t the end of the discussion. I won’t detail recent correspondence, but Water District 2 is being a butthole.

O’Fallon Sewer is now asking the O’Fallon City Administrator for permission to put a backflow valve on our connection to the main. They have to get permission because though we’re served by O’Fallon sewer, we’re in unincorporated county (and that will never happen again, I promise you). Normally our lateral wouldn’t be covered, but this is an unusual circumstance.

The valve would prevent us getting hit by the direct force of a force main pump expecting to find 24 inches of sewer pipe in the end, not our little lateral sewer connect and our home plumbing.

We won’t be able to flush in high flow days, but at least our home won’t be destroyed. I kid you not when I say our home is now at risk.

When the dust settles, I’ll write up the entire saga at Burningbird.

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