Wastewater Treatment Facility | Stockton, IL

Camouflaged Tank at Canal Park Protects Lake Superior

Mark Wallis, PE | with 0 Comments

Camouflaged Tank at Canal Park Protects Lake Superior

Where’s the sanitary sewer overflow tank?  The City of Duluth needed to solve a serious sanitary sewer overflow (SSO) problem and figure out how to camouflage an 8.3-million-gallon tank that is the area of a football field and 30 feet tall.  The tank is hidden in plain sight at Canal Park, a popular tourist area bordering Lake Superior.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had issued the City strict orders to address the East Interceptor SSO problems.  Such issues occurred when heavy rains caused inflow and infiltration into the sanitary sewers. The SSO Storage Facility needed to be located near Lake Superior, but the City did not want it to take away from the aesthetic value of the tourism-orientated area. 

Duluth Camouflaged TankThe $22-million project had many additional components including sanitary sewer diversion structures, large diameter interconnecting sanitary sewers, contaminated soil remediation, a new eight-million-gallon-per-day lift station, and the construction of a new maintenance shop and public restroom facility. All needed to seamlessly blend into the current landscape of the tight, 3.75-acre site.

The project called for challenging rerouting of the sanitary sewer system through downtown Duluth and under the popular Lake Walk. Key elements of the innovative design are as follows:
• Approximately 70% of the tank is hidden – while the visible portions blend in with the surrounding infrastructure, the top of the tank provides a landscaped area
• The maintenance shop features a vegetative roof that is visible to many downtown workers
• The restroom reflects the design of an existing historic structure

The East Interceptor Sanitary Sewer Overflow Storage Facility now prevents pollution while enhancing the area with new landscaping and trails.  The system functions properly during 25- and 100-year rain events even though it was only designed for the 25-year event.  The project offers innovation in sustainability and proves that necessary infrastructure can enhance a site, even at a very difficult location
For more information about controlling sanitary sewer overflows, contact Mark Wallis.

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