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April 9, 2013

NEWS AND TRIBUNE LETTERS — For April 9

Resident urges building of downtown detention pond

 

In dry weather, when we flush our toilets, wash the dishes or do load of laundry, the water flows into the same pipe that takes all the flow to the sewer treatment plant. 

In some cases, when it rains, the stormwater comes through roof downspouts and either empties into the street storms drains or runs into the sewer pipe that is connected to the sewage treatment plant. As with other cities, as Jeffersonville grew in size our infrastructure needs increased. Over years, we built more houses, buildings, roads. 

The very same stormwater pipes that were built years ago to carry both the runoff from the roofs and hard surfaces and sewage had to carry the increased combination to the treatment plant. To keep the sewage from backing up into houses and buildings, the combined soup of stormwater and sewage releases into our creeks and rivers. Several years ago, the Environmental Protection Agency ordered Jeffersonville to enter into a consent decree to better manage and build solutions to keep the sewage out of the Ohio and neighboring streams such as Mill Creek.  

Knowledgeable professionals were hired to build proposed solutions for mitigating the combined sewer overflows and meet the details set out in consent degree.

It is my understanding that during a rain event the function of the proposed Falls Landing Retention Pond is to hold the storm water runoff from reaching the river or adjacent stream by backing up the 96-inch outfall. The proposed reservoir, also called a retention basin, is part of the original negotiated consent decree.

There are things the Jeffersonville City Council, mayor and residents can do to keep stormwater from reaching the Ohio River. Building the Falls Landing Reservoir is one part of the solution. 

The fact that there was $500,000 available to pay for part of a park surrounding the retention pond sweetened the project even more, but the deadline for a $500,000 grant from the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs has passed after the council disappointingly did not take action last week on the park proposal.

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