Royalton sewer ponds near capacity

By Jennie Zeitler, Correspondent

Due to the large amount of rain received in recent weeks, lift stations in the city of Royalton have been overtaxed and the city’s water treatment ponds are near capacity.

“We’re getting some sewer infiltration,” Mayor Andrea Lauer told council members at Tuesday’s meeting. “Both the main station and station number three handled double the flow they’re used to.”

Lauer had received reports from Public Works Director Lee Popp and City Engineer Les Mateffy, both of whom were unable to attend the meeting. The city believes that sump pumps are being drained into the city sewer system.

City ordinance allows employees to go into homes to verify that sump pumps are plumbed properly, with drainage into the storm drain system.

“We know it’s in the northern part of the city; that’s the area we need to target,” Lauer added. “The ponds are right on the edge and we have to reduce the flow to them.”

If the ponds get too full, the city will be required to start up three smaller ponds which are currently not used. Those three ponds were installed in the 1990s when a housing development west of Highway 10 was proposed.

“The difference is, those ponds have to be aerated because of their smaller size,” Lauer said. “It would cost the city about $1,000 a month, which would have to be passed on to residents through increased water and sewer rates.”

The Council recommended that the Public Works Department put together a plan for employees to inspect sump pumps in the northern part of Royalton.