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Water pours down during rain-filled week

Posted on June 24, 2014 by Shaunavon Standard

As much as four inches of rain fell in Shaunavon and area during a week-long stretch that included several steady day-long downpours.

While the soggy conditions didn’t cause serious damage in the community, there were some reports of backyard flooding and leaking roofs.

The town, meanwhile, had its hands full during a day when the volume of water passing through the lift station was almost five times the normal level.

Crews worked overnight on Tuesday to handle the added load.

The town’s entire sewer system drains – through gravity feed – to the lift station at the corner of Third Avenue and Highway 37, where it collects in a pit before being pumped out to the lagoon west of Shaunavon.

On a typical day, only one of the lift station’s two pumps are in use. However,  last week there was an 18-hour stretch when both pumps were working to keep up with the inflow of waste water. The town also brought in vac trucks to help with the removal process.

The vac trucks were at the lift station for about seven hours overnight on Tuesday and for another short period on Wednesday.

Shaunavon town administrator Jay Meyer said that while the wet conditions put a strain on the lift station, the incident showed that the system is in good working order. The lift station has undergone some significant upgrades in recent years.

“It was a good test, but it showed that the system works great,” said Meyer.

Upgrades to the station have included a new computer and alarm system that allows town employees to monitor the water levels 24-hours a day. (Those warning signals are important. If the collection tank at the lift station overflows, for instance, the waste water will back up into the sewer system and ultimately into residential properties.)

Meyer says that a high water table and basement sump pumps (which drain into the sewer system) created the unusually high water volume at the lift station.

The flow of water to the lift station does not include the streams of water running down community streets during rain storms.

That runoff is handled by the town’s storm sewer system. That water is ultimately fed to ditches on the outskirts of the community.

The storm system also comfortably handled last week’s downpour, although the Shaunavon Fire Department had to be called out to help pump out a flooded area at the corner of 7th Ave and 4th Street West. That intersection has caused problems in the past as water accumulates and dams up in the southwest corner of the high school property before breaking loose and overflowing into a nearby street.

Still, last week’s storm didn’t carry the kind of flooding problems like those encountered last year after a hail and wind storm passed through the community. Those types of circumstances complicate the drainage process when broken branches and falling leaves clog storm sewer drains.

The fire department also helped pump out some flooded back yards in the community last week and a big chunk of Memorial Park was underwater on Tuesday night after another full day of rain. The small lake created at the park, however, had all but disappeared the next day.

The Rock Creek Golf Club also experienced some flooding across the fairways of the 4th and 6th holes on Tuesday. (Rock Creek passes through those fairways on the course.)

Again, most of the extra water had disappeared from the course later the next day.

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