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Weaknesses found in city sewer system
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Weaknesses have been found in the city's sewer collection system - requiring expensive remedies - that were found out after an analysis of the entire system.

Ceres Mayor Anthony Cannella was not happy that the discovery came after a full city-funded analysis of the sewer system was made and financial numbers were crunched. The city had the analysis done to plan for the costs which would be rolled into a rate increase.

"This one should have been caught - it makes us look pretty bad," Cannella told representatives of ECO:LOGIC Engineering, the consultant hired to study Ceres' wastewater system. "I'm pretty disappointed."

Two areas have been identified as problem areas requiring remedies, said City Engineer Glenn Gebhardt. One location is a corroding sewer trunk line from Service Road to Don Pedro Road, which is running full and too corroded for high-pressure cleaning. Gedhardt said that a temporary remedy is connecting up to a dry sewer main in Service Road intended to be used two years in the future. The cost is estimated to cost $50,000.

However the larger problem is a 12-inch sewer main line that runs south from the Barbours Lift Station buried deep under Mitchell Road. Sewage is filling manholes to less than a foot below the street level because. A model shows that a storm could cause sewage flowing into the street due to the capacity limitations. Installing larger pipes for the two-mile stretch would solve the problem but cost an estimated $4 million.

ECO:LOGIC was at the April 13 City Council meeting to ask for approval to do $10,000 in analysis modeling to see if the suggested remedies will work.

"Here we are again," commented Vice Mayor Chris Vierra as he referenced yet another time when a consultant came back to the city for more money to do more work. He said the city had no alternative to proceed since ECO:LOGIC had the model.

After hearing the council's disappointment, Charlie Bunker of ECO:LOGIC stepped up and said his firm would do the work at no extra cost, something which prompted thanks from Cannella.