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West Lake, Ohio

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West Lake, Ohio

The City of Westlake, Ohio, got an interesting ‘wake up call’ in 2006, when a sanitary sewer interceptor line in nearby City of Lorain failed dramatically. “It forced the evacuation of several dozen homes for months,” says Westlake Director of Engineering Robert P. Kelly, PE, “and we realized we'd better take a closer look at our system, because we have a similar interceptor arrangement in Westlake,” he explains, “and our pipe is about as old as theirs.” The interceptor in question was built in the 1960s and runs from west to east along Westlake’s northern limits, increasing in size from 36-inches to 60-inches. Dozens of 18-inch to 24-inch trunk lines, serving the entire city, drain northerly into the interceptor. The arrangement is efficient and has many advantages. But there are a few weaknesses as well; for one thing, a failed interceptor could affect all of Westlake. “There are about 70,000 people depending on our system,” says Kelly, “We simply could not allow a problem to develop.”

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