HARNESSING STORM WATER: City council working to amend ordinance

COLUMBIA CITY - The city council motioned to pass an ordinance on first reading, as they worked toward amending the illicit discharge and connection to the storm water system. The meeting was held Thursday.The ordinance was before the council to address some issues found in the existing ordinance regarding the clarification of ambiguities.“The reason to have this kind of ordinance is to make sure that we’re discharging clean rainwater through our storm water system and eliminating stuff going into our sewer that does not need to be going into our sewer,” said Mayor Ryan Daniel.Jeffrey Walker, the community development director of Columbia City, explained how people in the city could already be in violation of the ordinance.“Any of the perimeter tile that goes down to a sump pump, instead of out onto the ground would be in violation of this,” said Walker. “Any type of an open pump that would discharge out into our system would be an illicit discharge as well.”Walker said every time someone discharges rainwater into the sanitary system, it is costing wastewater extra to treat storm water.