Sweetwater draining fixes focus on growing north area

Sweetwater officials have found ways to improve stormwater drainage throughout the city since 2010 and have been implementing a plan for the growing northern part of the city since the beginning of May.

The northern part of the city is composed of Dolphin Mall, Ikea and other frequently visited businesses.

“This part of the city has quickly become the heart of the city’s economy since 2010,” said Elena Proto, Sweetwater’s engineering manager. “However, it is plagued by severe flooding due to lack of adequate drainage infrastructure.”

The problem within the city is that standing water remains for several days before it recedes. This ultimately stagnates local commercial, industrial, cargo and freight businesses activities, because the flooding prevents vehicles from leaving commercial lots, according to Proto.

Residential properties also face the risk of damage, and vehicles break down as a result of the stormwater.

“The flooding within my neighborhood is so bad that sometimes I can’t drive out of my driveway or through my neighborhood without damaging my car,” said resident Paul Hernandez Gutierrez.

There will be an additional $4 stormwater utility fee in the city for residential and non-residential properties to help the environment and public health, according to Sweetwater officials.

The city’s plans will include the installation of a stormwater drainage system and stormwater pump station. Instead of relying on gravity to cause water flow the pump will provide the additional pressure needed to overcome the difference in initial pressure.

The completion of the project will reduce flooding and the duration of standing water, prevent property damage and loss, and improve traffic and public safety for businesses and individuals who visit the area.

“At this point, 100 percent of the necessary stormwater improvements have been made to the Southern half of the city,” said Chief Engineer Eric Gomez, “The city is presently working on the northern side to adequately match the improvements and better the area as soon as possible.”