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Thursday, July 23, 2015

Scranton Sewer Authority: $9M for Exactly What?

I received a Google alert yesterday with a link to this article.
This section caught my attention:
"The combined system, when overwhelmed by stormwater, has at times over the years polluted the Lackawanna River and its tributaries. To reduce combined overflows, numerous underground storage tanks will be installed to capture stormwater overflow and gradually release it after storms are over."
As written, it is unclear to me whether the storage tanks will release the stormwater overflow into the Lackawanna or the treatment plant.
If the former...why bother? If the latter...it's a good start.
In a significant rain event, which seem to be occurring more frequently, I'm thinking the capacity of these storage tanks is another concern that needs to be addressed. When they are filled, where will the combination of raw sewage and stormwater go? 
And in my mind, there is a difference between a storage tank and a detention basin. What amount of rain over the 10,000 acre service area would it take to fill the 1.2 million gallon detention basin mentioned in the article?  Show me those calculations. I could probably come up with some numbers fairly easily, but do not have the time this morning.

On second thought...did a quick Google search and here we go:

As I suspected, a 1.2 million gallon detention basin falls incredibly short for even one inch of rain.

Seriously...where do they get these number crunchers?
Another thought: if the detention basin is on the surface, who lives downwind of that site?
I think I'm going to look into this a little further this weekend.

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