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Rain brings difficult challenges

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Tony Young

Campbellsville Mayor

What a difference a year makes. Last year at this time, we were in desperate need of rainfall.

Our farmers suffered heavy financial losses as crops dried up and failed to produce. Our gardens produced less than expected fresh homegrown vegetables. We just experienced record level rainfalls last week. Unfortunately, we are not always prepared for continuous heavy rainfalls in July.

Private property owners as well as the city must be prepared and exercise responsibility in addressing flood prevention.

During heavy rain and storms last week, the Campbellsville Water and Sewer Co. faced some difficult challenges. The enormous storm water runoff filled our sewers. Our treatment plant in Campbellsville has a capacity of 13 million gallons per day.

During a few days last week, it was unable to handle flows because it exceeded the designed capacity. When this occurred, many manhole covers were blown off their bases.

This created hazardous driving issues, sanitation issues, as well as the danger of blown heavy manhole covers. Additional crews were on duty throughout the weekend to respond to emergency calls relating to sewer drain backups and interrupted water service.

We are thankful that these heavy and prolonged rainfalls don't occur too often. To do what you can to prevent flooding, here are some housekeeping tips you might want to consider.

Clean your nearest catch basin. You might recognize it as the grate in your yard near the ditch. Our city's street department does its best to keep catch basins clear of debris, but everyone can chip in. Keep tree limbs, trash and toys out of the ditch.

Pick up your leaves for collection each fall. Check guidelines and dates of the city's sanitation department's free leaf collection program at www.campbellsville.us.

Make sure your downspouts and gutters are clear of leaves. Get the water away from your foundation by making sure your lawn slopes away from your house and your neighbor's.

Become a greener gardener. The way you plant your garden and care for your yard can have a significant impact on what winds up in our sewer system. By planting trees, plants and grass around our gardens, we can slow the flow of rainwater and give it time to be absorbed into the ground. Bare soil and surfaces only speed up runoff, usually to an undesired destination.

When possible, consider planting rather than paving over your green space. It's also good to consider clean alternatives when it comes to fertilizer and compost.

Check your sump pump even in dry weather. If possible, get a backup.  They are sure hard to find when it is coming a flood.

On certainly a more fun topic, I look forward to our Independence Day festivities coming this Friday and Saturday.

I'll enjoy the fireworks show over City Lake and Miller Park on Friday night. I hope to see you in beautiful downtown Campbellsville at the parade Saturday morning in the sunshine.

Campbellsville Mayor Tony Young writes a monthly column about the happenings in city government. Contact him at mayor@campbellsville.us or 465-7011.