Annual Sewer Rehab Project Pushed Back Because of Low Revenue

- At the end of this month, Lawton residents will be going to the polls to vote on extending their 7/8 of a cent sales tax for capital improvements.

And, part of that money will go toward repairing water and sewer lines.

In Wichita Falls,  officials say the sewer system and other infrastructure is also in need of millions of dollars of rehab. Wichita Falls usually does an annual sewer rehab project where they work on the lines, mains and boxes in areas that need it the most. Last year they raised the sewer boxes at Moffet Street to prepare for the McNiel drainage project that will start later this month.

But with less money in the sewer and water fund because of low water sales this year, and the priority on water conservation projects, rehabbing anything just won't happen.

“The sewer mains are old, they're deteriorated,” says WF Public Works Director Russell Schreiber.

Schrieber says, despite some mains needing to be replaced, they will will have to wait another year.

“We've identified about 45 million dollars worth of sewer work that if we had the money we could do right now,” says Schreiber.

Those sewers are spread out around town but the most immediate need is in the country club addition and on Washington Street.

“We need to investigate that and see what need to be done. That's a large 24 inch trunk main. It serves a lot of the north side, if that thing fails, yes we have some serious problems,”says Schreiber.

Problems that could include sewer blockages and backups.

Even though the city can't afford their annual rehab project in the coming year, they do still have the manpower and funds to make repairs of any problems that may come up.

So far Master Plumber Billy Link says he hasn't seen many indications the city sewer system is in danger of catastrophic failure.

“I can tell you that when we get dispatched out on sewer problems to a home, I’m gonna say 9 times out of ten, it's the homeowners problem, it's not the city mains,” says Ferguson Veresh Master Plumber Billy Link.

Schreiber says he hopes, if the funds are available, to make Washington Street next year's sewer rehab project.

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