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Sewer problems create big cleanup, Temple has long-range solution

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Posted at 9:28 PM, Oct 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-17 22:28:55-04

The City of Temple notified both state and federal environmental officials of two big wastewater overflows in the city on Wednesday.

One came to more than 230,000 gallons, while the other measured almost 100,000 gallons.

Megen Gildon takes solace in knowing her son and his football team have a safe place to play.

Why? On the other end of town, Lion’s Park remains closed because of a sewer back up that sent wastewater into the park.

"It’s awful… it’s pretty gross," Gildon said.

People here say it happens every time we get too much rain.

The old sewer lines fill up… and then back up… usually into Lion’s park.

This time, more than 237,000 gallons of wastewater backed up at Lion’s Park.

Now, the city has a big clean-up job on its hands.

”We know we’ll be out there at least through the end of the week… possibly through the weekend,” said Damon Boniface, Temple’s Utilities Director.

Meantime, the park remains closed off and unusable.

What happened here happens to lots of cities with aging sewer systems. But Temple has, at least, a partial solution.

Temple leaders have plans for their overflowing sewer system, which also dumped more than 92,000 gallons of wastewater into a creek adjacent to a neighborhood a few miles away from the park.

Boniface said people in Temple can also help keep their sewer problems from getting worse.

"It’s aging, it’s failing in a lot of areas and so we’re in the process of actually in that basin, there are five phases of capital improvements that are on the books,” said Boniface.

He says, never pour grease down the drain because it clogs the sewers.

In fact, he says workers found one of the backed up sewer lines clogged with grease.

He says, within the next two-to-three years, the city should have the Bird Creek Interceptor Sewer project finished, increasing capacity, and hopefully keeping Lion’s Park high and dry for years to come.

”I hope it works so that doesn’t continue to happen,” said Gildon.

Because she says, everybody in Temple deserves a safe, and clean place to play.

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