City begins process of improving sewer system

Local News

The city of Wichita Falls will soon begin the process of replacing some of the miles of aging and failing sewer lines, some which are about one hundred years old.

The first step is a study and evaluation plan costing $385,000, which will be is on the city council agenda next week. The city knows where the majority of the problem areas are in its sewer system and this assessment will show the extent of those issues.

The city has done assessments on the sewer system, but this will bring in an outside agency which will build models to better determine where some of the issues are located.

“They will look the average water bill and load certain volume of water into the system,” Public Works Director Russell Schreiber said. “At this point, there may be 10,000 gallons flows into the system and at this point, there may be 5,000 gallons that flow into the system and then they model it with all the pipe diameters and the slopes. Then they will be able to tell you, you have a bottleneck in the system here. This pipe needs to be upsized.”

The problem areas are spread around the city, not in one specific place. And a lot of the issues come from the city growing.

“As growth happens some of the pipes in the area may become overloaded,” Schreiber said. “For example, a 6-inch pipe is in place now, but really due to the growth it ought to be an eight or a 10-inch pipe to carry that amount of flow.” 

Once this assessment is done the city will then begin working to replacing the sewer pipes one year at a time. 

“From there we go to the budget. We work money into the annual operating budget,” Schreiber said. “Right now we have about $1 million in there. We will take that $1 million put together a project internally and repair the pipes until the money is spent and then we will do it again next year budget $1 million dollars or so.”

This assessment is the first step in stopping sewer problems in the future.

Schreiber said the assessment should take about nine months and is scheduled to begin in May, but there is a chance some of the work is already underway.

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