Sewage discharge overflows in Auburn

A manhole on Chapman Avenue in Auburn gets attention after a sewage discharge overflow Wednesday morning. 

Following a nearly six-hour sewage overflow from a manhole on Chapman Avenue Wednesday morning, repairs that closed sections of the street were completed Friday. 

While crews worked to make more permanent repairs, the avenue was blocked off between Quill Avenue and Worden Avenue. Auburn Municipal Utilities Director Seth Jensen said "if all goes well" Chapman Avenue would be back open to the public by the end of the day Friday. He was unsure of what time repairs would be complete, but said crews planned to stay until the job is done. The road was reopened later in the day.

According to a state alert that reported the overflow — with discharge entering Oak Creek, not jeopardizing Auburn's water supply — root intrusion construction on Chapman Avenue for a replacement line was already in progress before the discharge was reported. Residents were cautioned to avoid the area. The discharge rate was estimated at 690 gallons per minute.

"This has always been a problematic section of our sewer system that should now be mitigated," Jensen said Friday.

The work being done completes the sewer line upgrade in that particular area, he said, which was already underway but was expedited due to the recent overflow. In the future, capacity issues and overflows are not expected to occur in the same location again. New manholes and sections of sewer were installed, including a new section of sewer that replaced a line which connected the manhole on Chapman Avenue to a manhole on Bailey Street.

As some of the line was in homeowners' property, the city worked with easement requests. Jensen said everyone in the neighborhood was "tremendous" to work with.

He warned that due to all the snow not being cleared the road may be icy for a few days, and advised drivers to be cautions in that area until the salt kicks in. Some final restoration of the road will be completed in the spring.

If there are any issues or delays with opening the road, which Jensen doesn't anticipate, the public will be notified as per usual protocol. Jensen said Friday, however, that he expects the area "to be buttoned back up by the end of the day."

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Staff writer Megan Ehrhart can be reached at (315) 282-2244 or megan.ehrhart@lee.net. Follow her on Twitter @MeganEhrhart.