Wastewater Collection System & Maintenance

The City of Springfield’s sanitary sewer collection system has its documented beginnings in 1894, when the first sewers were constructed west of Grant Ave. between College and Walnut Street. The system is now an extensive and growing infrastructure that carries wastewater from area industries, businesses, and residences to the wastewater treatment plants.  This section of the Clean Water Services Division has a total of 36 regular full-time personnel and a seasonal complement of temporary personnel. 

System Parameters

The sanitary sewer collection system provides service to 72,365 residential connections and 6,845 commercial/industrial connections. The sanitary sewer watershed area can currently be divided into 15 drainage basins and 156 sub-basins. The system consists of over 1,195.7 miles of gravity pipe, 23 miles of pressure pipe, and 29,710 manholes, lamp holes, wet wells and flush tanks. The pipes vary in size from 4 inches to 60 inches at depths of 3 feet to 94 feet. New sewers are being built at a rate of 1-2 miles per year.


The initial sewers were built of brick and clay with lime and cement mortar. The pipe materials evolved to cast iron, concrete, reinforced and lined concrete, and polyvinyl chloride (PVC). The pipe joint materials evolved from the initial lime and cement mortar to jute, poured tar, polyurethane gaskets, and neoprene O-rings.

Clean Water Services Staff



The collection system is divided into three geographic areas for cleaning purposes. This allows for quicker response time and more crew responsibility. In each area, a 2-person crew works with a high-pressure sewer jet/flusher or jet/vac with hydraulic saws. The crew also has an easement machine that aids in rear property access. The Clean Water Services staff handles a yearly average of 1,080 service requests from the public. In addition the service requests, the maintenance staff cleans an average of 4,500 feet each day. 
Additionally, there are two 2 person crews that perform TV inspections on over 60 miles of sewer pipe per year. The crews operate a camera for internal pipe inspections. 


Three 3-person crews routinely perform sanitary sewer repair activities. Additional staff is utilized as necessary. The crews operate or have access to:
  • 1 coring machine
  • 5 dump trucks
  • 1 bob cat
  • 2 mini excavator
  • 6 inch dry prime pump
  • 3 extenda-hoe backhoes
  • 2 mobile air compressors
  • 2 sewer winch machines
  • Various other assorted equipment as needed
 On average, 304 repairs are completed annually. Repairs consist of point repairs, capping of sewer mains, manhole rehabilitation, manhole installation, and installation of interior drops in manholes. These same personnel also maintain the pressure lines and air relief valves on 23 miles of pressure pipe. In the winter, staff will assist with snow removal duties on the streets of Springfield.

Infiltration & Inflow

Four full-time employees perform infiltration and inflow reduction efforts. These employees use several techniques to locate and minimize extraneous flow into the sewer collection system.