Sanitary Sewer Maintenance

The Department of Public Works is responsible for the maintenance and repair of the City of Marshall public sanitary and storm sewer systems. These two separate but similar and vital systems are essential in keeping the City safe, clean and healthy.

The Storm Sewer system is designed and intended to capture and move rain water, snow melt and other surface water away from the existing surface such as a street or parking lot and safely discharge it into a body of water such as a stream or river. The City of Marshall currently has approximately 36 miles of storm sewer pipe that requires frequent maintenance and repair. A frequent and major portion of this maintenance includes the catch basins and their covers or grates. These often become clogged with leaves and debris which then blocks the flow of the water creating a ponding effect on the roadway or parking lot.

As part of the Public Works annual storm sewer maintenance program, the City uses its vacuum/debris loader truck to clean out the catch basins to prevent blockages of the system.

The Sanitary Sewer system is designed to carry away domestic and industrial wastewater to the City of Marshall Waste Water Treatment Plant for treatment and release into the Kalamazoo River. With approximately 3,400 customers and 42 miles of sewer main, the care and maintenance of this system is extremely important to everyone attached to it.

On occasion, a utility customer will encounter a backup of wastewater into their basement. Residents are advised to contact the City of Marshall as soon as a backup or potential backup is developing. Once the City is notified, the DPW will check the sewer main, which it is responsible for, and will clean it if needed. If the main is "running clear" and is not blocked, the homeowner will be notified that it is a problem in their sewer lateral or service. The homeowner is responsible for their lateral or service from their home all the way to the sewer main even if it is under a City street.

As an investigative and preventive maintenance tool the City is fortunate to have a closed circuit television system to view the condition and problems to the sewer system. This camera on a tractor allows the DPW to "see" and verify problems to the sewer pipes without the expense of excavation. In addition to this camera system, the City also has a sewer maintenance truck that is equipped with a jet rodding and a debris vacuum system. These two pieces of equipment are the primary tools used by the DPW to maintain and repair the City's aging sewer system.