Bloomington looks to replace combined sewer overflows by 2030

Local News

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (WMBD) — Newer sewers are on the way to Bloomington’s Founder’s Grove neighborhood after Bloomington council recently passed two phases of a multi-phase project.

Less backed-up basement drains are the goal of Bloomington Public Works’ multi-phased, Locust/Colton Street combined sewer elimination and replacement project.

It’s a nine-phased $14 million project taking place in Bloomington’s east-side and will be completed over the next decade.

In February, the council approved construction on phase two to begin this summer for $4.3 million.

Monday night they approved designs for phase four which is tentatively beginning in 2024.

The goal is to get rid of combined sewers and replacing them with separated sewers; one is for waste from homes, the other for stormwater.

Director of public works Kevin Kothe said this will provide drainage to around 150 homes in the Founder’s Grove neighborhood.

“By separating this out, we reduce the likelihood that anybody’s going to get a basement backup. Does it eliminate it 100%? No, because tree roots can get into sewers and cause a basement backup because of the sewer getting plugged, but in the case of simply a storm event that overwhelms the sewer, it makes a big difference to have those sewers separated,” Kothe said.

Currently, the combined systems run into nearby creeks or streams and when the overflow happens, it is not treated before being dispelled into the creek. Kothe said the construction will make sure all wastewater is treated at water facilities before being dumped into streams.

“By eliminating that overflow, it helps to protect the environment as well. Do the overflows happen every storm? No, but it happens enough that it’s something that the community is going to benefit by getting this done,” Kothe said.

Construction on phase two will start this summer and last through November. The city must replace all combined sewers by 2030.

More information on the project is available here.

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