By Rachel Wulff

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Money isn’t just going down the drain in Sacramento as millions of dollars have now been secured to improve infrastructure below ground.

The City of Sacramento Sump 2 facility is the heart of the combined system that manages wastewater and storm drainage flows for downtown Sacramento, Land Park, Oak Park and East Sacramento.

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“In one set of pipes, on an average day, it handles 15 million gallons of combined wastewater and storm drainage flows,” said Bill Busath, director of Sacramento’s utilities department. “During storms, drainage flows that can go up to 700 million gallons a day.”

It’s enough to fill 1,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools – and it was put to the test during last fall’s 150-year rain event, as well as this past Christmas when broken pipes caused a stink.

That’s why Congresswoman Doris Matsui prioritized procuring $3.5 million in federal funding for improvements to protect Sacramento homes, businesses, local rivers and water sources.

“The system provides a critical outlet to move stormwater and sewage,” Rep. Matsui said.

Two million dollars will go to a project at W and 25th streets. The remaining $1.5 million will go to 24th and K streets.

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Work will begin within the next five years.

Councilman Patrick Kennedy says the improvements will create a ripple effect

“When we replace pipes, we’re creating opportunities – health opportunities, housing opportunities,” Kennedy said.

Because what’s below the surface is often forgotten until it needs to be fixed.

“The turning on of a tap, the flushing of a toilet, the staying dry during a storm are sometimes things we take for granted,” Busath said.

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The money was secured as part of the government funding omnibus package signed by Pres. Joe Biden earlier this year.