Columbia water and sewer project flowing as planned

COLUMBIA (WACH)-City of Columbia officials say the current water and sewer revitaliazation project is going according to plan.

After a budget of over a hundred million dollars this fiscal year to improve the city's infrastructure Joey Jaco, Director of Engineering, says the city is making strides.

"We're increasing the capacity and the reliability of the system, here at the water plant but as you drive through gervais street and other areas you'll see we're doing the same thing within our system," said Jaco.

A rough drive through Gervais Street now, a $7.4 million project that Jaco says will completely upgrade the system, ultimately providing a huge payoff for customers later.

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Jaco says, "Its a better quality product at the end. During the water rehab projects it improves the water quality of the water that comes through your tap at the residence or your business but it also improves the fire protection within our system."

Jaco adds that pipes closer to the Canal Plant at Riverfront Park are older and with a system that serves 375,000 customers each day, the construction is necessary.

"We're addressing the problems that we've had," said Jaco "but its also an issue of we've got an old system and we have to do what we have to to get the system back to a better shape."

In the meantime residents can help with the flow by joining the "Trash the Grease" initiative.

"Probably over three quarters of our wastewater overflows are caused by grease within our system or blockages caused by grease within our system and that's usually a result of people putting things down the drain that they shouldn't put," said Jaco

Jaco says more projects are on the way and possibly an expansion of the city's waste water treatment plant in the next few years.