10-Year Initiative: Minimizing Sanitary Sewer Overflows (Source: Water & Wastes Digest)

Mar 5, 2021

By Kelly Shipley

The Clear Lake City Water Authority’s (CLCWA), the largest water district in Texas, has an extensive wastewater collection system comprising 29 lift stations, 6,000 manholes, and 1.1 million linear feet of sanitary sewers. The system, which has a capacity exceeding 10 million gallons a day (mgd), serves more than 100,000 customers in the Clear Lake area.

In the 2000s, the district’s aging system started to deteriorate, leading to sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs). Subsequently, the Authority decided to address this issue and entered into a multi-year sanitary sewer overflow initiative with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). In 2009, CLCWA hired Lockwood, Andrews & Newnam Inc. (LAN), a national planning, engineering and program management firm, as district engineer to evaluate and rehabilitate its sanitary sewer system.

“The system was originally built in the 1960s and the region has also grown rapidly in the last few decades,” said Bill Rosenbaum, P.E., LAN vice president. “These two factors put a lot of stress on the system. At its worst, there were more than 30 SSOs a year.”