Steps Taken By Spokane City To Prevent River Overflow

Residents of the city of Spokane dispose their household wastewater and it travels through sanitary sewers into an interceptor pipe that flows to the City Regional Water Reclamation Facility. During heavy rainstorms and rapid snowmelt, extra flows runoff into these combined sewers resulting to the overflow of the Spokane River. The city knows about it and they are currently working to solve the problem. The federal law required the city of Spokane to change the overflow system by 2017. Over 26 combined sewer overflow control points are in the Spokane River.

Unfortunately, some control points, at least 11 of these have history of malfunctioning, discharging raw sewage into the river. Another problem is the debris plugging up the control points and the system which is already old makes the monitoring more difficult. There were measures and upgrading done by the city of Spokane wherein 3 overflow points were being outfitted with storage tanks and control vaults to improve monitoring. The remaining 8 overflow points received control vaults to lessen plugging and to support fast response until tanks are finished, approximately within 8 years. An agreement negotiated by the Center for Justice and the city of Spokane was being held to do some measures to control and minimize flooding in the low-lying area of Spokane.

A construction was made and it’s a 1 million gallon tank to reduce overflows from the combined storm and sanitary sewer on the west of Ray Street at 21st Avenue. The tank will hold and retain excess flows from combined sewers during a huge storm. This project can also help localize the basement flooding in homes near the tank in addition to reducing the overflows of the river. The project is part of a major initiative to help improve the health of the Spokane River wherein the amount of wastewater and storm water entering the river is reduced.

The destruction made by the flood in the city and in some low-lying area was devastating that this initiative was done. The citizens of Spokane and its government are working together to fully prevent and eradicate flooding in their area.