MSD Project To Prevent Sewer Backups

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)-- The Metropolitan Sewer District is making big changes to handle storm and sewer water. And it begins Monday with a new project that will cost billions and take decades to finish.

In the future, sewer backups will be a thing of the past.

At least that is the promise MSD is making as it begins a new venture called project clear.

It is easy to see the problem. In a lot of cities including St. Louis, older parts of the sewer systems run storm water and waste water all in one tube. While it looks like they have plenty capacity down here, in heavy rain events the water can get all the way up to the ceiling.

To fix the problem, MSD will dig miles and miles of new tunnels like these ancient giants under Forest Park. The district will also work with about 30,000 homeowners to redirect the water from their gutters out of the sewer system.

Of course, its homeowners and business owners who will be paying for all this with higher rates.

MSD says while the cost is high, so is the benefit, not just in better sewers but all in the jobs all that construction will create.

And besides MSD really doesn't have a choice, since the federal EPA sued the district to force it to make these tremendous changes in a span of just 23 years.