City working on storm sewer issue

The Buffalo Center City Council is looking to fix a storm sewer problem that’s resulting in standing water on the block east of the school.

The council brought in an engineer from WHKS to discuss the issue at its June 13 meeting. Rick Engstrom from WHKS shared a map with the council of storm sewer intakes on 2nd St. NW, 3rd Ave., and the intersection of 4th Ave. and Main Street. Water has been pooling in people’s yards in that area, and Engstrom says the problem could be the result of a collapsed pipe or from a pipe being full of gravel.

Engstrom says his first step is to completely understand Buffalo Center’s storm sewer system so any solution they come up with doesn’t just move the problem downstream to another location. He says he’d like to conduct a survey, which would include checking the elevations at all of the storm sewer manholes to determine the slope of the pipes.

Engstrom says one issue is that the storm sewer pipes are small. He says the pipes vary in size from six to eight to 10 inches, and he says 12 inch pipes would be better. He says the area is also quite flat, so there’s not a lot of surface drainage to help the water move along. He notes that the addition of the school wellness center a few years ago may have changed the way water drains in that area.

Council member Rick Hofbauer said standing water wasn’t an issue in this area years ago, and he suggested the city start by cleaning the storm sewer with a jetter or by putting a camera down there to see what the problem is. Brian Klein, who is the city’s water/ wastewater operator, said they won’t be able to get a camera in the storm sewer if water is surcharging like it has been.

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