Heavy rain contributes to clogged storm drains and sewage backups in Rapid City

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) - With a recent sewage backup and clogged storm drains, what can both the city of Rapid City, and the public do to prevent future issues?

In the neighborhood of Lindbergh and Wood Avenue, residents have been noticing clogs in their storm drains.

Although storm drains are not connected to the Rapid City sewer system, storm water can get into the sewer and find its way into cracks in the pipes, causing extreme pressure.

Because of the excessive rain Rapid City has experienced these past couple years, the public may have noticed clogged storm drains and sewer backups downtown.

"Out of 22,000 roughly sewer hookups in Rapid City, we've had somewhere over 40, just over 40 of them that have backed up this year, in the worst year probably in history, so that's .2 percent of the accounts have had a backup problem," said Steve Allender, mayor of Rapid City.

The mayor said all of these sewer backups happened during a severe storm situation, which is something the city can't control.

But residents can reduce the risk of backups in their homes by avoiding putting certain contaminants down the drain, such as wipes, even so-called flushable wipes, and grease.