SPRINGFIELD — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is ordering the city of Springfield to prevent overflows of its sanitary sewer system, which have occurred during heavy storms.

Residents have complained for years about basement flooding, which the city said is the result of storm runoff infiltrating overloaded sewer lines.

According to the (Springfield) State Journal-Register, the EPA’s order took effect this week.

It requires the city to do more maintenance on the sewer system.

Public Works Director Mark Mahoney said it’s too early to say how much the work will cost the city.

Sewer Division Director John Higginbotham said the city’s efforts to prevent basement backups by pumping water out of the sanitary system and into the storm water system violates the federal Clean Water Act.

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