Utilities Operations Division
The Utilities Operations Division provides for all aspects of installation, operation, and maintenance of the water distribution system and the wastewater collection, the Five Year Capital Improvement Plan system, plus other special services to other divisions. This includes responding to thousand of customer service requests yearly.
- Sewer Line Maintenance
- Sewer Repair & Rehabilitation
- Sewer Outfalls and Right-of-Way
- Lift Station Maintenance
The Town of Boone has over 121 miles of gravity sewer mains, ranging in size from 4” to 30”. A variety of preventative maintenance tasks are undertaken to keep these lines functioning properly. Most residential mains are 8” lines that represent the majority of lines in the system. Most problems that affect the operation of sewer lines are either structurally related, caused by root intrusion into joints or are caused by grease introduced into the lines. Sewer lines can become blocked due to grease buildup in the pipes that cause debris such as rags, paper towels, and diapers to become trapped in the pipe and create a blockage. When this occurs, wastewater is stopped by the blockage and wastewater flows backwards toward the first possible outlet, thus creating a sanitary sewer overflow (SSO).
Sanitary sewer overflows are sewage spills that occur when wastewater collection pipes are blocked or restricted, causing wastewater to back up in the pipe and flow out through manholes. Most sanitary sewer overflows are relatively small and can be stopped and cleaned up quickly. Left unattended, however, sanitary sewer overflows can result in property damage, foul odors, environmental problems and can harm our wildlife. In a worst-case scenario, they can create public health and safety hazards. The Town of Boone is required by law to report all sanitary sewer overflows that reach surface waters or are in excess of one thousand gallons to the Division of Water Quality. Sanitary sewer overflows are not a new problem in our community or in any other, but our goal continues to be zero overflows. It’s our job to keep the community’s wastewater collection and treatment systems in good working order, and we will continue to invest time and resources to prevent sanitary sewer overflows.
The Town of Boone performs CCTV (closed circuit television) inspection and evaluation of sewer mains throughout the wastewater collection system. With many sewers in the older portion of town over 80 years old, it is extremely important to maintain this program to help reduce sewer stoppages and overflows. This work also helps reduce long term operating costs of the system. To identify problem areas, the CCTV camera is sent through the mains and check the integrity of the pipe for any defects which may need repair. As part of the Town of Boone’s wastewater collection system permit, the State has required all municipalities to develop and implement a Five Year Capital Improvement Plan for sanitary sewer main replacement and CCTV inspections help to determine this.
Sewer outfalls are mains which run outside of street right of ways and normally follow drainage ways and creeks. The Town of Boone is required to perform yearly visual inspection and routine mowing of our sewer mains. The task of mowing is difficult due to access problems to some mains.
The Town of Boone currently maintains six sewage lift stations. Reliability is essential to ensure proper operation of these facilities. Extreme weather events and power outages create performance problems for these stations, requiring after hours work to keep them functioning properly. Spare parts and pumps are kept in stock to assure any problems discovered are kept to a minimum. All stations are equipped with visual and audio alarm systems in case of overflow situations. If you see or hear these alarms at a facility, please report it immediately to the Town of Boone Jimmy Smith Waste Water Treatment Facility.