Illinois City Council Takes Action to Prevent Sewer Odor Backflow

The Decatur, Ill., City Council embarked on a three-year, $14 million downtown street enhancement project.

Jan 1st, 2017
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The Decatur, Ill., City Council embarked on a three-year, $14 million downtown street enhancement project. As part of the project, the City Council decided to take a proactive approach to ensure that foul sewer odors would not continue to make their way into the downtown area. In addition to a solution that would be effective in eliminating odors, Decatur City Council also wanted a green solution that would come at a low cost to install and operate.

The City’s Public Works Department and Engineering Division was tasked to find the right solution in order to mitigate the offensive sewer odor. Sanitary Sewer Engineer Paul Caswell researched possible solutions and found the CheckMate® Inline Check Valve from Red Valve. “When I saw [the product], I knew the CheckMate was a strong potential solution, one we should research further,” said Caswell.

The CheckMate valve prevents sewer odor backflow.

The inline check valve is able to prevent both sewage and gas backflow, making it ideal for interceptor and manhole installations. In comparison to more expensive chemical control systems, the CheckMate was an ideal cost-saving and low-maintenance green solution for Decatur’s sewer odor control problem.

To provide adequate space for installation, a new 8-foot-diameter manhole was constructed specifically for a 36-inch CheckMate valve. The total cost of the valve and construction of the manhole was inexpensive compared to the alternatives. The valve was installed and has worked flawlessly to block the backdraft of offensive sewer odors. Best of all, there has been no maintenance expense.

Installing the 36” CheckMate Valve into the new manhole.

There are no more odors in downtown Decatur, and as usual with underground sewer improvements, few citizens are aware of how simple and affordable it was to solve the sewer odor problem.

Red Valve is a global leader in manufactured pinch valve products, elastomers and engineered systems. For more information, visit

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