SOUTH BEND — Property owners may soon be required to disconnect from the city’s sanitary sewer system all stormwater drains and downspouts. A proposed ordinance before the Common Council sets a deadline of Dec. 31, 2018, to comply with the mandate, which is based on a recommendation by the Environmental Protection Agency. The move is part of an effort to control the cost of a $660 million sewer project by, in part, reducing the flow of stormwater into the sewer system. The project, mandated by the EPA, involves the separation of miles of combined storm and sanitary sewer lines throughout the city. It is intended to reduce the number of combined sewer overflows to no more than four by 2032, as outlined in a federal consent decree. A combined sewer overflow is when a combined sewer system — one that handles both storm and waste water — becomes overwhelmed and overflows into a body of water. In this case, that body of water is the St. Joseph River, which provides recreation for area residents and habitat for various fish and wildlife. To continue reading this article you can go on the South Bend Tribune's website or CLICK HERE
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