City Pressed to Replace Aging Sewers

Besides improving the local economy, it looks like Temple City might need to focus on its aging sewers if the City does not want its residents to complain of overflowing sewage. 

On Tuesday, July 15, 2008, the City Council heard from RKA Consulting Group, which was hired to complete a Sewer Master Plan for Temple City. The City last finished a Sewer Master Plan in 2000.

There are two main problems with the sewage system in Temple City.

“The first relates to the fact that the 6-inch and 8-inch sewer mains are now at capacity” stated City Manager Charles R. Martin in his July 17 weekly report.

Martin noted that the increase of the City’s population from 10,000 to 36,000, as well as the additional 16% load from the county area north of Temple City are contributing factors to the first problem.

The second issue relates to the age of the sewers.

“Most of our sewer [pipe line] was installed in the 40s, some 70 years ago” add Martin. The average lifespan of clay or terracotta pipelines are 50 to 70 years, but the lifespan is also dependent on other factors such as earthquakes, soil conditions, and the slope of the pipes.

The Sewer Master Plan, completed by RKA, is a twelve-year program that accounts for the City’s growth. It does omit the additional 860 housing units Temple City is mandated to build over the next few years.

According to the RKA study, Temple City will need to spend at least $10 million dollars to fix the undersized pipelines. Temple City has already allocated approximately $8 million dollars to ameliorate its aging sewers.

“[Clay] is the more predominately used pipelines today” said the representative from RKA. He noted that the 10-inch pipelines would most likely be changed to 15-inch clay pipelines.

City Manager Martin warned that action was “paramount.”

During Council discussion, City Councilman Ken Gillanders suggested a new construction surcharge of $7-8,000.

Should the City begin to fix its pipelines, Sereno Avenue will be its first priority. With 92 feet of pipelines, the construction period will take about one week.

“It’s not going to be pleasant” cited Mayor Cathé Wilson over the possibility of overflowing sewage.


This article was written by Matthew Wong. It was published in the Temple City Voice on September 24, 2008.


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