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Water

Sanitary Sewer Back-Ups from April 2013 Flood

The Mayor and City Council have charged the Department of Public Utilities with protecting and promoting the life, safety and wellness of the community. The City uses a sanitary sewer system to accept and convey wastewater from homes, businesses and all other buildings to the Springbrook Water Reclamation Plant for treatment before releasing the treated water into the DuPage River. Sanitary sewers are not designed to transport storm water and can become overwhelmed when excess water enters the system.

During rainfall events, water can seep into the sanitary system through leaks and fissures in pipes as well as through manholes and their frames and lids. This leakage is called inflow and infiltration (I & I) and can quickly exceed the capacity of the sanitary sewer conveyance system. The Department of Public Utilities – Water has developed and implemented a long term program to eliminate I & I: spending over $2.2 million per year lining sanitary sewers, to seal the cracks and fissures in the sanitary sewer piping. In addition to the lining program, the Utility has been programming over $3.5 million per year to rehabilitate the sanitary sewer pump stations and treatment facilities; all in an effort to eliminate sanitary sewer backups to protect the community and the environment.

In flood situations, rainfall, standing water, high ground water and swollen ponds, lakes and streams intensify system leakage. Once the sanitary sewer system capacity has been reached (or exceeded), internal water pressure may force the lids off of the manholes (in low areas near the streams and river). Once the lids have been forced off their frames, the drainage system and sanitary sewer systems become interconnected, causing sanitary sewer backups. Until the flood waters recede, the only thing the Utility can do is maximize conveyance and pumping of the mixed wastewater and storm water to the Springbrook Water Reclamation Plant for treatment. During the storm the plant treated over 70 million gallons of water per day (GPD). The plant’s design capacity is 54.3 million GPD.

The City of Naperville will continue to focus on tightening up the sanitary sewer system to prevent and eliminate infiltration and inflow into the sanitary sewer system.

We continue to perform sanitary sewer maintenance, and advance the capital sewer rehabilitation projects. These efforts have proven to be effective in reducing inflow and infiltration into sanitary sewer system.


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