Yet, the city says there is progress. Chambers says the sanitary board has cleaned out 118 catch basins or storm drains since February 1. Five drains have also been repaired. The city hopes to pick up the pace once a new employee is hired to run a second vacuum truck. With both trucks operating, it will still take about a year and a half to clean the 2,700 drains.
Some residents wonder if these measures are enough as they struggle with near constant flooding whenever it rains. One resident on Arlington Boulevard tells us she has never seen the city take any action to fix flooding or drainage problems other than cleaning up debris left behind after a flood.
Clogged drains are only part of the problem. Chambers says the flooding problems on Arlington Boulevard will not be solved with a vacuum truck. He says the issue there is that the drainage system is too small for the area. That's one reason the city is creating the storm water utility which will assess a $7.15 water quality service fee per month to raise funds for much needed long term and costly projects, such as fixing Arlington Boulevard. Yet, again this will take a lot of time and money.
One solution to the flooding and drainage problems would be to separate the combined sanitary water and storm water systems, but with the lowest estimated cost for that effort at a hefty $300 million, the city can't afford to replace the drainage system.