Dams breaking, cars swept away, homes flooded and people being displaced in surrounding cities are a common theme this year.  It seems that we have 100 year floods and rainfalls every 5 years which makes me wonder if we need to rename them.  Though we have not seen water from a river or stream raise havoc on our community we have had several residences that have experienced water in their basements from swollen sewer lines or surface water in their yards not draining fast enough. 

The City of Sully went through an extensive sump pump program several years ago and I trust that people have not changed the water from the sump pumps back into the basement drains.  This would again be overloading our sewer lines and causing damage to other residences with the excess water going into the sewer system and not the ditches. 

The City Council is having a special working session on Monday evening, August 23rd, from 6:00 to 9:00 pm; the agenda is sewer and water.  Sewer will be the first item on the agenda; however this will not be a formal council meeting with normal motions, but a time where we can put our heads together to come up with a plan of action to address these issues.  At this meeting I have requested the City Council, City Maintenance, City Engineering (Garden and Associates) and numbers people that will be able to talk through options (TIF, GO Bonds, Revenue Bonds, Grants, Low Interest Loans, and other options).


1) One of the items for discussion will be inspection of the sump pumps to insure we are not battling misdirected water. 
2) Excess water; what areas are affected most and development of a plan of action to remove excess surface water from the sewer system
a. HOME OWNERS - What I need from you is to contact the City Clerk if you had water back up through your drains into your basement.  
If you had water coming from the floor or the walls this is not sewer related and more a high water table in an area which is relatively flat.  The ditch program should help with getting the surface water out of the area faster with less absorption into the ground.
b. Areas that appear to be more effected than others is 5th Street (Water Street), Maasdam Addition (which has some storm sewer) and 6th Avenue towards the north end of the line.   The map of homes affected will help us help you to work towards a plan. 
c. From this info the city will make a map of what lines are over charged with runoff and surface water infiltration.  From that we will develop a course of action on what lines to address first.
3) Questions we must seek answers for are; can we solve this with the ditch program and a program to line the inside of sewer lines?  Or what if the service lines from the homes are the main issue?  Or does it need to be addressed with more storm sewer? 
4) Water lines are the other topic - to map out a plan for cast iron lines to be replaced with plastic; it may be placed on hold until a future working session with the city council.  This will be addressed this fall if not discussed at this session. 
5) Direction to the City Engineering firm to draw up plans to be presented to the City Council so we know;
a. Plans for competitive bidding to find out cost of the project
b. Plans to submit for grants and programs that have money available for the city to use.
c. A time line of what, where and when plans will be implemented in order to find the how for financing these plans 

Again please let the City Clerk know this week if you had water in your basement from your drains backing up by calling 594-3493, please leave a message if you call after hours and we will record the information. 


Gordon Yarrington