Mayor Ballard Saves $740 Million on Combined Sewer Overflow Consent Decree

Mayor Ballard saves $740 million on what?  Yeah, that’s what we said too.  Back in 2006, the City signed a consent decree with the U.S. Justice Department and the Environmental Protection Agency stating that City is required to make more than 1.7 billion dollars in improvements to decrease sewer system overflows.  It is basically a 20-year plan to curb the overflow of raw sewage from combined sewers into waterways.

When the Ballard administration assessed the project after taking office in 2008, they found that the Peterson administration had allowed the $3.5 billion program grow to approximately $3.8 billion in cost over-runs.  Mayor Ballard had the Department of Public Works re-evaluate the program and attempt to find cost savings. 

DPW not only found savings of $740 million but they also were able to modify the consent decree allowing some sewage overflows to be captured and treated up to four years earlier than originally planned.  The result is over 3.5 billion gallons of sewage diverted ahead of schedule while saving a good chunk of money.  To give you an idea, the yearly budget for the City is approximately $1.1 billion so these savings are nearly 70% of the City’s yearly budget.   

It certainly isn’t sexy but it is incredibly important to the quality of life here in Indy and to the taxpayer’s pocket book.


About Washington Street Politics
Covering policy and politics from end to end of Washington Street in Indianapolis

6 Responses to Mayor Ballard Saves $740 Million on Combined Sewer Overflow Consent Decree

  1. $740 Million? That’s almost as much as Ballard has pledged to the No-So project for Buckingham Companies that no lender will touch because it’s too risky.

    If Ballard actually saved $740 million at anything, you can expect that taxpayers would never see a dime of the money. Ballard would be too busy finding a way to give the money to political insiders who hired the right law firm, i.e. Barnes & Thornburg.

  2. Anonymous says:


    You’re a sad, bitter man. You have nothing better to do than troll the blogs bashing Mayor Ballard no matter what he does (or filing frivolous lawsuits). You will never be happy with any Mayor because you think you should be Mayor.

    You claim to be an expert in political science, yet you can’t even get elected to a school board for which you campaigned vigorously. How U of I can justify charging tuition for your class is beyond me. Seriously, you got beat by someone that did absolutely nothing to get elected. That should be your clue that people don’t buy what you are selling. Get over yourself!

    • Who did I lose to who “did absolutely nothing to get elected?”

      • Anonymous says:

        From your own post on May 24th…of course you blamed it on gender of the candidate, not that you’re a kook…

        “In my school board race, I finished sixth out of 13, behind three women, a man who is school board candidate, and a male candidate who worked non-stop for months, knocking on thousands of doors. With one exception, men occupied the 6-13 positions. A woman who finished third in the race (and thus was elected) was Yvette White, a candidate who had barely campaigned and who seemed to come out of nowhere…”

  3. Bleeding Blue says:

    When did spin city come back onthe air…very funny stuff

  4. We’ll say one thing for Ogden, he stays on message. Ballard does something good, pivot back to the insider complaints. Nevermind he just saved a ton of money while making something more efficient.

    Didn’t know he had run for school board and lost though, Annonymous 9:01.

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