Memphis has initiated a clever assessment program to help residents and their aging sewer structures. It’s called SARP10 (Sewer Assessment and Rehabilitation Program). It is an initiative that will bring improvements to the sanitary sewer system in the City of Memphis over the next 10 years. The SARP10 team will implement the program through a series of condition assessment and construction rehabilitation projects over the life of the program. The first portion of the project consisted of two Pilot Areas in which condition and assessment work began in November 2013, followed by Phase 1 work which was completed in February 2015. Phase 2 work started January 2015 and was scheduled to be completed in August 2015. The program will move from neighborhood to neighborhood until the entire sanitary sewer system within the City of Memphis has been assessed.
The City of Memphis, like a lot of cities across the nation, has an aging wastewater collection and transmission system (WCTS). This WCTS consists mostly of buried pipes, concrete manholes for maintenance access, and pumping stations with pressure force mains. Over time pipes deteriorate, joints break apart, roots penetrate pipes, corrosion causes pipes and manholes to degrade and/or oil and grease can clog the sewer. As a result, the City could experience line stoppages that in turn result in sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs). The City negotiated an agreement with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) and the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) to implement an assessment and rehabilitation program with the objective to eliminate SSOs. This agreement was finalized in a Consent Decree on September 20, 2012. The City of Memphis is legally obligated to implement this program and over the next 10 years is expected to spend approximately $250,000,000.