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COLUMBIA CITY â€” To separate, or not to separate? That is the question Columbia City officials are facing when it comes to stormwater.
Currently, the cityâ€™s storm and wastewater are on a combined system â€” 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 wasnâ€™t considered practical several years ago when the stormwaterâ€™s long-term control plan was made, officials are revisiting the idea of separating the cityâ€™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 â€” 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 cityâ€™s budget.
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