Missouri News

Canton taking steps to require homeowners to fix sewer line leaks

By Herald-Whig
Posted: Aug. 21, 2018 12:01 am Updated: Aug. 23, 2018 9:25 am

CANTON, Mo. -- The Canton Board of Aldermen plans to work with more than 50 homeowners to resolve residential sewer line problems discovered in recent tests.

Most of the problems involve missing caps on underground sewer line cleanouts. The missing caps allow stormwater to enter the city's sanitary sewage system. This forces Canton's wastewater treatment plant to work extra hard -- and at greater-than-necessary expense -- to process rainwater that shouldn't be entering the system.

Mayor Jarrod Phillips said city officials will ask the various homeowners to install new caps on their sewer lines -- at their own expense -- to comply with a city ordinance requiring homes to have water-tight sewers.

"We are encouraging people either to do it themselves -- it would be much cheaper -- or to contact a plumber to do it," Phillips said.

He said the Board of Aldermen also agreed to set aside a certain number of hours by city crews each week to help residents install missing sewer caps upon request. The city will charge residents for time and materials.

"We're trying to keep it as non-intrusive to the customers' pocketbook as we can," Phillips said.

The problems with the missing caps came to light during a recent test when a contractor injected smoke into the city's sanitary sewer lines.

Phillips said a second phase of smoke testing will be carried out in the future after the sewer cap issues have been resolved. The second test will show areas where cracks, loose connections and other leaks may be occurring.

Problem areas detected through the testing will be given priority when the city carries out plans to insert liners into some of the sewer lines to help prevent stormwater from entering the sanitary sewage system.

The Board of Aldermen also authorized the city to continue exploring a proposal to allow a company to offer insurance to homeowners for any repairs that may be needed to their sewer lines.

"A sewer repair can be expensive, and most people don't realize they're responsible (for the section of sewer) from the city's sewer main to their home itself," Phillips said.

"We are getting ready to embark on some repair efforts for our water and sewer, and having that insurance may help private owners if we identify they have sewer leaks."

The council also:

º Agreed to let Culver-Stockton College discharge fireworks at 10:15 p.m. Oct. 26 as part of its homecoming festivities.

º Agreed to close several streets temporarily Sept. 22 for the Relay for Life of Lewis County event.

º Agreed to seek bids to buy one or two portable radar speed signs to show motorists how fast they are driving on city streets.

º Approved the appointment of Brenda Liesen to the Historic Preservation Committee.

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