For years, the City of Buffalo has struggled with its outdated Combined Sewer Overflow (CSOs) discharges, which release sewage into our waterways during heavy rainfalls. This happens because the outdated sewer system cannot handle the amount of stormwater, which needs to be discharged. Household sewage is combined with the excessive rainwater, resulting in a problematic situation that has been relatively unchanged for years.
Recently however, Buffalo Sewer has been working with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to come up with a 20 year plan to alleviate this ugly situation. The plan includes the installation of 16 Smart Sewers throughout the city, four of which have already been installed.
As early as Monday, March 18, the fifth Smart Sewer installation, part of the Real-Time Control Project, will commence at Hertel Avenue at Deer Street. Residents in the neighborhood will still have access to their home, though general traffic between Foundry Street and Military Avenue will be redirected.
Buffalo Sewer will have an inspector onsite during the Hertel Avenue construction to answer any questions from the public.
“This project on Hertel Avenue continues Mayor Byron W. Brown’s strong commitment to protect the quality of our City’s many waterways and further reduce combined sewer overflows, and is another positive step forward for Buffalo Sewer and its Long Term Control Plan,” said Oluwole OJ McFoy, General Manager of Buffalo Sewer, “Other smart sewer projects that have been completed are located at Bird, Lang, and Smith, and one currently under construction on North Bailey. We hope to install additional smart sewers throughout the City of Buffalo in the coming years.”
The Real-Time Control project is basically a concrete chamber with moveable gates that allows up to 4 million gallons of storm water to be captured, which helps to prevent overflows into our waterways. Ultimately, 16 of these Real-Time Control systems will be constructed throughout the city. As for the new Hertel project, the construction will continue through the winter of 2019.