- Associated Press - Monday, May 26, 2014

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (AP) - Federal officials are considering Evansville’s proposal to correct sewer overflows by routing treated water into a newly created wetland.

The Environmental Protection Agency has technical questions about the plan to turn Bee Slough along Riverside Drive into an artificial wetland, Utility Director Allen Mounts told the Evansville Courier & Press (https://bit.ly/1mffIRd ) for a Monday story.

“They’re intrigued by it because it’s a green infrastructure solution and not gray, with pipes and so on,” Mounts said.

He said he expects a written response to the plan from the EPA within a few weeks, though it isn’t clear whether the agency will endorse the plan, which he said wasn’t a typical proposal.

Combined sewer overflows occur when storm water and sewage drainage exceed a system’s capacity. The waste water can end up in nearby rivers and tributaries, causing pollution. Evansville is one of numerous cities that are legally bound to eliminate combined sewer overflows. Evansville’s overflows wind up in the Ohio River, Pigeon Creek and Bee Slough. Overflows have occurred often during recent heavy rains.



“Almost anytime it rains, it creates a CSO as well as separate, sanitary sewer overflows - stuff that comes out of manholes for example,” Mounts said.

Evansville’s proposal involves spending $540 million over more than 20 years. Local sewer rates are increasing this year and the following two to pay for some of the first projects.

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Information from: Evansville Courier & Press, https://www.courierpress.com

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