The City of West Lafayette has completed the second phase of its endeavors to develop infrastructure along North River Road with the goal of safeguarding the Wabash River against contamination resulting from the release of stormwater and wastewater.
After about two months of water flow, we are excited to wrap up work on this stage of the project. The road was officially opened by Mayor John Dennis on November 1, 2023.
The ongoing River Road CSO project is a key component of the broader effort by the City of West Lafayette known as the River Road CSO initiative, which consists of three distinct phases. The recently finished current phase involved the integration of the sewer system in West Lafayette to handle both stormwater and wastewater as a single conduit leading to the wastewater treatment plant. Prior to this implementation, during typical rainfall events of a quarter-inch or more, the combined system’s capacity could be overwhelmed, resulting in the discharge of stormwater and wastewater into the Wabash River, a phenomenon referred to as a combined sewer overflow (CSO). This phase of the project is now officially complete.
The primary objective of the City of West Lafayette when they launched the first phase of the River Road CSO project in 2016 was to reduce CSO occurrences and improve the overall health of the Wabash River. Since the completion of this initial phase, the number of overflow incidents in the area has significantly declined, dropping from 150 in a five-year period to fewer than five incidents since 2017.
Now that the second phase, the affected area is likely to see a similar reduction in CSO occurrences. Subsequently, the third phase of the River Road CSO project is scheduled to begin in spring 2026, entailing the expansion and modernization of the West Lafayette Water Resource Recovery Facility. This expansion aims to enhance the facility’s capacity to manage larger volumes of stormwater and wastewater.
The River Road CSO initiative is a vital endeavor aimed at safeguarding the well-being of the Wabash River, in accordance with the environmental standards established by the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the Indiana Department of Environmental Management. As a community, we are committed to improving West Lafayette through projects like this.