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Ann Arbor's Suspended Footing Drain Disconnect Program Gets Mixed Reviews

Feb 7, 2014

Ann Arbor officials are reviewing the city’s footing drain disconnection program and trying to determine what if anything is needed to avoid future sewer back-ups during heavy rains.

Tweet from @JeffHoover during a July 2013 flood in A2
Credit Twitter user @JeffHoover

A survey found sewer back-ups are down, but many residents have a variety of concerns.

Joe Walls lives near Lawton School.  Walls recently paid $10,000 to have his basement waterproofed which he thinks was needed because his footing drains were disconnected.

The president of the Earheart Village Homes Association Rod Sorge however credits footing drain disconnections with solving sewer back-ups in several of their buildings.

A citizen’s advisory committee is reviewing restarting the footing drain disconnection program, increasing the size of sanitary sewer pipes, and other options.  Committee member Jim Osborn says he doesn’t have an opinion yet on if the city should re-start the footing drain disconnection effort.  He says if they do however changes are needed to make sure residents are more comfortable with sump pumps.

A review of the current risk of sewer back-ups, and some of the biggest community complaints is also taking place.  City engineer Nick Hutchinson says they will also work with some of the homeowners that raised concerns in their survey response.

More information on the Sanitary Sewer Wet Weather Evaluation Project can be found here

— Andrew Cluley is the Ann Arbor beat reporter, and anchor for 89.1 WEMU News. Contact him at 734.487.3363 or email him acluley@emich.edu.