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home : news : news   April 29, 2016

4/24/2013 9:11:00 AM
Peru to ferret out sewer flooding

Peru flooding complaints

View Peru flood complaints in a larger map

Jeff Dankert
NewsTribune Reporter

The city of Peru announced Tuesday its plan to monitor and address flooding and sewer backups caused by up to 6 inches of rainfall in town last week.

The city will inspect sewers with remote-controlled cameras and by looking through manholes and will use smoke in pipe systems to detect unfavorable storm water-to-sanitary sewer connections, similar to city actions in 2008 after very heavy rain caused similar flooding.

The city’s press release outlined details of the plan.

It will begin using cameras and cleaning sewers from the west ravine sanitary trunk sewer from north to south along Rock and Plum streets; from West Street north to the north end of Plum; and from Centennial Park to Sunset Drive.

Workers will begin smoke testing pipes and visually inspecting through manholes on Marquette Road from Shooting Park Road north to Interstate 80 at Menards.

When remote camera inspections and cleaning are done on the west side of Route 251 the city will do the same on Marquette Road from Shooting Park Road to I-80, using smoke testing results to prioritize inspections.

Repairs will begin as soon as problems are detected, beginning with collapsing ground in a backyard in the 1800 block of Plum Street.

The city will develop a map showing problem spots and will contact affected residents and ask them to fill out a sheet.


Peru’s problem is one experienced by most municipalities.

Cities typically have two sets of sewers. One is open to the ground to receive storm water runoff and deliver it to rivers, lakes, ditches or treatment plants. The other is tied into dwellings to deliver sanitary sewage to sewage treatment plants.

Much of a city’s landscape is covered with hard surfaces, preventing rainwater from soaking into the ground. Unusually heavy rains and runoff overwhelm cities’ storm water systems and rainwater pools in low areas and in streets.

Sanitary sewage backups happen during rainstorms because breaks or unconventional connections allow storm water to enter and overwhelm sanitary sewage pipes. Because sanitary sewers are connected directly to dwellings, these sewage lines back up into basements, often requiring sump pumps to remove the overflow.

In hundreds of cities like Peru, there are systems with one pipe that handles sewage and storm water. Peru and other cities are working with the Environmental Protection Agency to separate these into two pipes.

Reporter Jeff Dankert can be reached at (815) 220-6977 or

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