Aledo fall cleanup to continue

Cathy Decker/Staff reporter
Jeremy LaCamera (left) and Kevin Kopp, Millennium Waste employees, pick up residents fall cleanup trash, much of it damaged during last weekend's storm. More than eight inches of rain fell in Aledo, taxing the city's storm sewer system.

The city is having an additional pickup day for Aledo citizens on the north side of the city on Thursday, Sept. 18, in response to last weekend's storm. Millennium Waste was contracted to do the fall cleanup on the north side of Route 17 during the week of Sept. 15 - 19, with the stipulation that it would only pass through by each house once. Citizens were to have their pickup ready on Monday, Sept. 15. The Thursday pickup is an additional service because of the flooding that occurred in a number of Aledo homes.

"Millennium Waste really stepped up to the plate," said Steve Moller, director of public works.

The city received more than eight inches of rain over the weekend, bringing out the city crews in over the weekend to deal with overflowing storm sewers.

Moller told the Aledo City Council Monday, Sept. 15, 2008 that one action was to go to Keithsburg on Saturday afternoon and pick up 100 Red Cross emergency cleanup kits that were left over from that city's flood cleanup in June and July.

The kits are available for any citizen who needs it.

"At 6:30 a.m. (Saturday) we started to lower the elevations of both lagoons," Mark Blythe, city water superintendent told the council. The flow from the city sewer was at more than 22 million gallons (to the lagoon) throughout the weekend, he added, which is the highest amount ever. The meters do not register higher than 22 million gallons, he added.

Part of the problem, besides all the rain adding to groundwater, was many sump pumps were were running, adding water to the storm sewers, which infiltrated into the sanitary sewers.

City crews were out early Saturday morning pumping excess water from the storm sewers to try to relieve the pressure," Blythe said.

The sanitary sewer system was installed in 1908, he added. "It's had modifications through the years. In 1987 there was a major overhaul."

Bill Coutant, an Aledo citizen living on the west side of Aledo, talked to the council about his sewer situation and infiltration into his home. "Mine comes up through the sanitary sewer and it has for the last 35 years," he said.

Mayor Lee Celske said that this was an issue the council needed to take a strong look at and come up with a long-term plan to correct. "We need to make a commitment. We've got to find the money to do that," he said.

One alderman asked how many miles of trunk line there is.

Moller said he thought there were 32 miles of it.

For more on this story, see the Sept. 24, 2008 issue of The Times Record.

The road leading to Aledo's north lagoon, 175th St., is closed, due to water overflow on the road next to the lagoon, near the Edwards River. Ditches show evidence of a strong water overflow with matted down grasses and weeds.