Evansville Water and Sewer Utility asking residents to ‘Clear Path’ for sewer inspectors


Evansville Water and Sewer Utility asking residents to ‘Clear Path’ for sewer inspectors Utility to discuss sewer inspections and maintenance, answer questions live on WNIN

The Evansville Water and Sewer Utility (EWSU) is required by federal mandate to inspect and clean all manholes and approximately 610 miles of its small-diameter sewer lines in its service area. Unfortunately, many residents have obstructions on or near their property lines blocking the Utility’s access in water and sewer easements.

EWSU has until Nov. 1, 2015, to complete cleaning and inspections and cleanings in 70 percent of its system, and the Utility is on track to meet that goal. However, many of the remaining sewer access points throughout the service area are blocked by plants, fences, pools and even buildings, making these inspections nearly impossible for EWSU crews.

Clear easements provide Utility crews with safe, immediate access to the system for routine inspections and maintenance. They are also essential for quick response to emergencies, such as sewer backups, which may be a public health hazard.

“This is a big challenge for the Utility, and something we need to address,” said Allen Mounts, director of the Evansville Water and Sewer Utility. “Through our ‘Clear Path’ outreach campaign, we’re asking residents to take action now, removing obstacles before it’s time to inspect and clean the system in their neighborhood. Everyone must work together for us to meet the 2017 federal deadline.”

CMOM program and inspection schedule

Cleaning and inspecting the sewer system is required under EWSU’s federally mandated Capacity, Management, Operations and Maintenance (CMOM) program. This program – part of Evansville’s consent decree settlement with state and federal governments – ensures proper operation and maintenance of EWSU

assets while minimizing failures, malfunctions and line blockages that could contribute to overflows in the system.

To date, approximately 330 of the 610 miles of small-diameter sewer lines have been inspected. From now through Nov. 1, 2017, EWSU plans to inspect and clean approximately 100 miles each year, which may impact thousands of property owners.

Virtual public meeting

EWSU is hosting an interactive, televised public meeting about Clear Path next week.


When: Where:

Audience Value:

Renew Evansville’s Clear Path:
A Community Conversation for Property Owners About Easements
7 p.m., Tuesday, June 30, 2015
WNIN (PBS, channel 9.1)
Radio station 88.3 FM
Viewers will have an opportunity to submit questions by phone, email, Facebook and Twitter. To join the discussion on Facebook or Twitter, use the hashtag #ClearPathEvansville. Submit questions through email: RenewEvansville@ewsu.com. The call-in number is (812) 426-7400.

The recording will be posted at www.ewsu.com/clearpath following the event, and residents can continue sending their questions via Facebook, Twitter and email after the program.

“We understand that clearing an easement often requires property owners to invest both time and money,” Mounts added. “That is why the Utility is reaching out to everyone in its service area now so residents are prepared when their neighborhood or property is being inspected and cleaned.”

Property owner notification

For those in the areas where inspections and cleanings are taking place, letters will be mailed to customers whose property is within five feet of a sewer line. Crews will also post signs at neighborhood entrance and exit points in advance of cleaning. If yard entry is required, crews will notify the homeowner upon entry and knock on doors and/or leave a door hanger if residents are not home. We are committed to working with property owners to address easement issues.

Property owners who are unaware of easements on or near their property can check http://www.ewsu.com/easements for searchable aerial maps that highlight the sewer system. Information about utility easements is included on property deeds, available at the Recorder’s Office, and the Vanderburgh County Assessor’s Office.

Those with especially large obstructions covering an easement are encouraged to call EWSU’s Customer Service Department at (812) 436-7846.