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September Construction Update

The City of West Lafayette is advancing its efforts to construct infrastructure along North River Road, aiming to protect the Wabash River from contamination caused by the discharge of stormwater and wastewater.

We are so excited to announce that we are live with water flow! This means that we are capturing overflow that was previously flowing into the river. During the month of August, 146 sheets were extracted for a total of 967 sheets. All of the concrete has been poured, all of the excavation is complete and all of the 48” connection piping is complete.

This ongoing River Road CSO project constitutes a part of the broader initiative by the City of West Lafayette, known as the River Road CSO initiative, which encompasses three distinct phases. Presently, the sewer system in West Lafayette operates as a unified conduit for conveying both stormwater and wastewater to the wastewater treatment plant. However, during typical rainfall events of a quarter-inch or more, the combined system’s capacity can be overwhelmed, leading to the release of stormwater and wastewater into the Wabash River, a phenomenon referred to as a combined sewer overflow (CSO).

The primary objective of the City of West Lafayette in launching the first phase of the River Road CSO project in 2016 was to mitigate CSO incidents and improve the overall health of the Wabash River. Since the completion of this initial phase, the number of overflow occurrences in the area has significantly decreased, from 150 within a five-year period to fewer than five incidents since 2017.

Following the anticipated completion of the second phase in autumn 2023, the affected region will likely witness a similar reduction in CSO incidents. Subsequently, the third phase of the River Road CSO project is set to commence in spring 2026, involving the expansion and modernization of the West Lafayette Water Resource Recovery Facility. This expansion is aimed at increasing the facility’s capacity to manage larger volumes of stormwater and wastewater.

In summary, the River Road CSO initiative is a critical undertaking in preserving the Wabash River’s well-being, aligning with the environmental standards set forth by the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.