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City Offers to Help Residents Drain Property

TIMES STAFF WRITER

In an effort to help residents of the Sutter Avenue area dry out, the city has initiated a program designed to remedy, at least for the short term, the severe drainage problem that has turned a number of properties into bogs.

The city will drill 3-inch holes into the curb of residents who install subsurface drainage pipes in their yards, so the water can drain out and into the street.

“This will definitely help drain some of the ground water from those properties,” said John Watring, Simi Valley’s assistant director of public works. “Besides, it’s a good idea to have them in there anyway.”

The city will drill the holes free of charge, but residents will be responsible for purchasing and installing the drainage pipes.

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Plans on how to install such a system are available from the city.

Rising ground water has been a problem for residents in the area for the past six years, but it has become particularly acute with this winter’s heavy rains.

The city conducted several tests to see whether drilling through curbs would help drain the water and found that the plan works best when used in conjunction with an underground drainage system.

Many yards have been reduced to spongy mud puddles. The water has begun to crack driveways, and the sidewalks and streets are now stained with streaks of red from the oxidized iron that has percolated to the surface.

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Word that the city has stepped up its efforts to combat the problem was welcome news for many residents, but some likened the plan to putting a Band-Aid on a wound that actually needs stitches.

“I’m sure it will help, but this is not a solution by any means,” said Wallace Street resident Jim Lytle. “I mean, how much can putting holes in the curb really do?”

Watring said it will help alleviate the problem while the city searches for a permanent way to drain the neighborhoods.

Last month, the City Council authorized two studies on how to tackle the rising water table and leave affected residents high and dry.

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One study will determine the most effective means of pumping the water out and the other will explore the feasibility of reclaiming it for possible blending with water provided by the Calleguas Municipal Water District.

Residents interested in participating in the curb program and obtaining plans on how to install a drainage system can call Joyce Goodwin at the city’s Public Works Agency at 583-6400.


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