About: Springfield’s Private Sewer Repair Program is one of the first successful private I&I (Infiltration and Inflow) programs in Missouri, a culmination of more than 20 years of improvements to its wastewater collection and treatment systems. The City launched the Private Sewer Repair Program with a goal of eliminating sewer overflows and basement backups caused by stormwater entering the wastewater collection system via sewer lines on private property.
So far, the program has achieved a 42% reduction in I&I flow into the sanitary sewer. For every dollar spent on repairing and tightening up the lines on private property, the City avoids spending $11 in future capacity improvements at the wastewaster treatment plants. That is an 11 to 1 return on the investment. This Program gives other communities a template to develop partnerships with their ratepayers to comply with regulations, improve health and lower treatment and improvement costs.
So what is the problem?
Sanitary sewers are designed to carry wastewater from every residence and business in Springfield. Rainwater entering the system overloads the system and can cause manhole overflows and building backups. About half the excess water that enters the sanitary sewer system comes from private property. That's where the city asks citizens to help. The Private Sewer Repair Program offers property owners the opportunity to have improperly connected sump pumps, drains and downspouts to the sewer repaired at no charge.
Property owners in a selected basin are contacted to schedule a voluntary plumbing evaluation. When improper connections are found, property owners then choose from a list of qualified local plumbers, paid by the City, to make the repairs.