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After some early morning fog hampering driving this morning, look for partly cloudy skies moving in just before lunch. Highs today will again reach the low and mid 80's. Tonight will see lows again fall to the mid 60's. More of the same for the rest of the week, with highs in the low and mid 80's. We'll add in a 30% coverage of showers ...


Washington Times

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The following is an archived video story. The text content of that video story is available below for reference. The original video has been deleted and is no longer available.

Heavy rains cause sewer problems

BEAUMONT - by Lauren Huet

Not only did the heavy rain flood streets and stall cars, it also stopped some people's toilets from working. Beaumont's Water and Sewage Department received more calls than usual Thursday, reporting sewer blockages. The Water Administration Director, Dr. Hani Tohme, says they usually receive more calls during heavy rains.

"Well, what happens when it rains is the storm water infiltrates into the sewer collection system and that fills it up with storm water instead of the sewage it was designed to support," said Dr. Tohme. "And that, in certain areas, causes problems to our customers, because they can't flush their commodes because the system is already so charged with storm water."

He says the city has improved the sewer collection system since 2006 by replacing 75 miles of sewer lines, 6,200 service lines, and replacing and rehabilitating 1,650 manholes. Dr. Tohme says the Water and Sewage Department also cleans 70 miles of pipe every year.

"The waste water treatment plant in '06 used to suffer severely during 1 to 2 inch rain events," said Dr. Tohme. "Today we can get a 4 to 6 inch rain event and the plant will operate normally without suffering and without backing the system up."

Dr. Tohme says these improvements have reduced the number of calls reporting sewer blockages by 40 percent.

"In '06 we had about 86 overflows in the collection system, this year, so far, we only have 19," said Dr. Tohme.

If your toilet is blocked, call 3-1-1.


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