OSHKOSH - Oshkosh has been known to flood in the past and with that sometimes comes an even more unpleasant side effect: sewer back up.
But now the city is working on a new project to prevent the backups.
On the eve of their 50th wedding anniversary in 2008, Richard Andrews and his wife got an unwelcome surprise at their Oshkosh home.
"We had a big storm and it backed up into our basement," said Andrews.
Andrews told FOX 11 many of his neighbors shared the same fate.
Steve Gohde is the Assitant Director of Oshkosh Public Works. He explained why that backup happens.
"More water in the sanitary sewer system, it's not designed to handle that, so basement backups," said Gohde.
According to Gohde the city is working on a project now to help reduce the flow of rain water and runoff into the sanitary sewer. The project is part of the city budget and involves work on manholes in several neighborhoods. Gohde told FOX 11 some of the structures were put in as far back as the 1800's.
"Getting rid of old castings that don't seal properly, some of them have open holes in them, some of the manholes have defects that will be repaired or rebuilt to keep the water out," said Gohde.
Much of the work is concentrated in the Northeast part of the city. The plan is to fix the worst damage before winter to combat overflow from spring rains.
The project includes about 600 of covers, so the city is asking drivers to be cautious and patient in the construction zones."
some residents will get displaced out of their driveways for a week if the manhole blocks the driveway," said Gohde.
Andrews told us it's definitely a hassle, but he hopes it helps. He's keeping things in perspective too.
"We don't have the problems they're having out on the east coast," said Gohde.
Still, he'd like to avoid a mess like the one he had 4 years ago.
The work is expected to end by late next June. The contractor will not work through the deep winter months.
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