The sewer system serving the City of Denton is being made over with an enhanced treatment program. The City’s Utility department has been growing and implementing a better approach to the maintenance of those systems in disrepair while simultaneously getting a handle on some of those growing pains. Sophisticated software and attentive deployment of manpower get the credit. Denton’s growth required the city to begin replacing existing sewer pipe with larger-diameter lines. Officials began developing a master plan to identify pipe requirements for adequate capacity in response to increased demand. The task began with putting in more than 80 data points for every sewer line in the system. Each line was then graded on a scale from 1 to 100 for the priority of correcting problems that could lead to failure: the higher the number, the higher the priority. After completing those ratings, Denton followed up by using the information to organize its sewer line cleaning program into one, five, and 10-year cleaning cycles.
Recently installed PVC lines in a new subdivision were put on a 10-year cleaning and inspection program. Smaller lines in older parts of the community, put on a five-year schedule. Lines deemed to be at the greatest risk, as well as lines serving high-volume sources like restaurants or apartment complexes, are scheduled to be checked annually. Denton also changed its approach to CCTV inspection, again based on the priority rankings. Denton’s asset management program has grown so robust it even includes trees. At the University of North Texas, located in the city, researchers have mapped Denton’s tree canopy using satellite imagery. Because of Denton’s use of technology and equipment Denton has cut wet-weather overflow volume by 99.5 percent, and instances of choked sewer mains – whether from roots, clogs or other problems- have fallen by as much as 94 percent.