Last week’s fast moving storms dumped about nearly two inches of rain in less than 20 minutes in the area. Streets in Paden City looked like a deluge from a swollen creek. It seems to be a problem that never goes away. While most of the country is fighting droughts, even these hard downpours provide little relief, but they sure do make a mess. It’s a sure sign that the sewer system in not working well or is too small for the current needs.
For years, small communities in our area have experienced overflow problems ranging from flooded basements and garages to streets and yards filled with debris. This leaves behind all kinds of pollutants including pesticides, dirt, garbage, bacteria, oil and more as it makes its way past the clogged storm drains and ditches.
It then makes its way to our streams, rivers and into our clean water supply, making it one of the greatest threats to our drinking water.
For sure some local officials will get their feathers tettered over this, but that’s not the intent. The intent is to alert people to do their part to help keep the storm sewers working properly and avoid street and home flooding from water backup.
With the cost of installing new sewer lines and upgrading the systems reaching astronomical highs, we must all do our part. When we take action to soak up the rain, we keep rain closer to where it falls and reduce the runoff from our roofs, driveways, and parking lots. One way to help is by removing gutters and downspouts from the system. This can help prevent water pollution, reduce flooding, and protect our precious drinking water resources.
Planting shrubs, flowers, gardens, trees and using proper water diversion, we soak up the rain and help reduce the amount of water that flows from our properties into the streets and the storm sewer system. When we soak up the rain, we get water into the ground which helps us keep a clean water supply. It also reduces the water to be handled by the town drainage systems. This can help lower community costs for managing water.
Towns like ours have been in need of new, updated sewer lines for many years, and complete overhauls of the systems are presently in the works. Hopefully they become reality over the next few years. The American Rescue Plan has provided funds to the communities to be used for infrastructure; some have committed to using the funds for that purpose.
Also, county commissions have received millions for county infrastructure. We can’t think of anything better to use those funds for than to help the taxpayers receive improvements to their water and sewer systems.
According to Senator Joe Manchin’s office, the American Rescue Plan will provide $2,970.000 to Wetzel County and $1,668.701 to Tyler County. Also, the City of New Martinsville will receive $2.13 million, while Paden City will get $970.000, Hundred $110,000 and Sistersville $530,000.
Paden City and Sistersville both have huge sewer problems. Let’s hope the counties and communities can work together to provide the repairs and upgrades needed for the safety of the citizens, while improving the infrastructure so badly needed.