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SEPARATION: Col. City considers stormwater options

November 7, 2013

COLUMBIA CITY — To separate, or not to separate? That is the question Columbia City officials are facing when it comes to stormwater.

Currently, the city’s storm and wastewater are on a combined system — nearly all water is processed through the wastewater treatment plant, south of town on Ind. 205, before it is dumped into the river.

While the idea wasn’t considered practical several years ago when the stormwater’s long-term control plan was made, officials are revisiting the idea of separating the city’s wastewater (sewage) from natural stormwater.

The stormwater would go directly to a ditch or river, rather than being unnecessarily treated at the plant.

Last year, the city treated 164 million gallons of water that went unbilled — about 34 percent of the total volume.

Treating the extra water may not pose an immediate expense for the city, but Wastewater Superintendant Mike Cook said the long-term effects could be damaging to the city’s budget.

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