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Flow Control: increasing productivity
More topics for Service requests: sewers
Facts about flooding
Combined sewer overflow
Before you dig or drill!
> Flow Control: increasing productivity

A dispatcher for the Onondaga County Division of Flow Control

What is the Division of Flow Control in the Onondaga County Department of Water Environment Protection? Consider these statistics:

  • 11 million feet of sewer lines
  • 140 pump stations
  • 40 miles of urban streams
  • 6 flood-control basins

The Division of Flow Control operates nearly on the same scale as the natural gas operations of Niagara Mohawk—when reckoned by the length of pipe in the ground.

The Division's work affects many individuals in Onondaga County directly. It is the group that cleans the sewers in the streets, and it manages flood-control facilities at Bloody Brook, Meadowbrook, Harbor Brook, and Bear Trap-Ley Creek. It also operates the pump stations necessary to move wastewater to treatment facilities and the combined sewer facilities.

Efficient facilities

Supervisors at Flow Control now have private offices.

The Division of Flow Control recently completed its move into new quarters at 7120 Henry Clay Boulevard in Liverpool—a building that it shares with WEP's Environmental Laboratory and the Sheriff's North Substation. In the past, the Division was scattered among four locations. The consequence of this centralization of services will be increased productivity and efficiency, to the benefit of County taxpayers.

Now, its five sections—supporting sewer and stream maintenance in Syracuse and many suburban areas—have been joined by the Plumbing Control Section. Plumbing Control, which had been housed in the County Health Department, is responsible for issuing plumbing permits for the plumbing work done in Syracuse and all the villages and towns in the county.
See more about Plumbing Control. Click here.

Active operation

Flow Control is staffed 16 hours every day of the year to respond to sewer emergencies. Only the over-night hours are not staffed. Supervisors remain on-call in the overnight hours and respond directly from home.

In addition, the Flow Control Division addresses all requests by contractors and others who wish to dig in the streets and any where sewer lines might be found. It marks the sewer lines to help contractors to avoid damaging them during excavations.

Features of the new facility

Flow Control's new quarters has commodious desk accommodations for the maintenance crew leaders and the plumbing inspectors. It has a flexible conference room, library space where essential records can be centralized, a break room for staff, and a training space that can double as a public meeting room. In addition, the building supports its own computer network and tight security measures. It is able to monitor the operation of every pump station and combined sewer facility in the county system from its offices.

The store room is well laid out, and a washing bay is big enough for the Division's largest vehicles. Even pumps, up to 700 horsepower, and large valves can be washed there before they are serviced by the Flygt-certified Division employees. The equipment repair shop accommodates the needs of the workers who recondition pumps and other items. The loading dock has an overhead crane for lifting heavy equipment.

The outbuilding garage has heated and unheated facilities.

Impressive, too, is the scale of the outbuilding where the Division's vehicles are stored. For the first time, its essential vehicles and equipment can be stored inside for better maintenance and care.


The well-planned facility has an important purpose. By collecting all aspects of Flow Control into one location, County residents will be better served. The Division finds more demands placed on it every year as housing and business development expands in all directions. The increased productivity resulting from the new facility will keep costs under control for County residents.


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