The Infrastructure of Butler

NOTE: This section is subject to revision based on your feedback.


Municipal infrastructure encompasses the built environment both above ground and below ground.  Following are reviews of Butler’s wastewater and water systems, streets and parks:

The City of Butler Wastewater System

Butler owns, operates, maintains and manages a Class III, 2.0 Million Gallons Daily (average daily design flow) extended aeration treatment facility with an average design peak flow of 3.0 Million Gallons Daily, per provisions of the NPDES Permit issued by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management. The treatment facility consists of a bar screen, a fine rotary screen, a grit chamber, three aeration tanks, two secondary clarifiers, phosphorus removal through precipitation with ferric chloride, three aerobic digesters, chlorination / de-chlorination facilities and influent and effluent flow meters. Biosolids are continuously returned to the aeration tanks and periodically wasted to the aerobic digesters for stabilization, thickening by decanting, pumping to onsite storage lagoons for drying and storage prior to ultimate disposal via landfill.

The collection system is comprised of combined sewers (sanitary and storm water) and sanitary sewers with one Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) location (CSO 003) and one wet weather treatment facility outfall (Outfall 001). The wet weather treatment facility consists of a flow equalization basin, a wet weather clarifier, and chlorination / de-chlorination facilities. These outfalls are identified and subject to the provisions of the NPDES (National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System) permit.

The average daily flow through the Butler Wastewater System is 900,000 gallons per day. Of this total flow approximately 550,000 gallons per day is industrial flow from the industrial park and from industries located within the corporate limits of Butler. Butler developed and implemented an industrial pretreatment program in 1999 because of the industrial presence. Butler currently has four (4) active industrial waste pretreatment (IWP) permits issued to the significant industrial users discharging to the Butler Wastewater System (Table 1).

The Butler Wastewater System also provides collection and treatment of wastewater from the SDI industrial complex constructed in phases since 1996, located approximately 3-4 miles southwest of the City.

Table 1  –  Permitted Industries Discharging to the Butler WW System
IndustryLocationAverage DailyFlow (MGD)Butler IWP
Permitted Flow (MGD)
Steel Dynamics, Inc.Industrial Park0.4500.450Yes
CJ AutomotiveWest Edge of System0.007NAYes
Heidtman SteelIndustrial Park0.060NAYes
New Millennium SteelIndustrial Park0.0050.010Yes

The Butler City Council / Board of Public Works and Safety recognize the importance of a well-maintained and managed wastewater system.  The Butler Wastewater Department has been given a mandate to insure that the entire wastewater system is properly managed and maintained to guarantee public health, environmental protection and regulatory compliance

The Butler Wastewater Department manages twelve (12) miles of separate and combined sewers; six (6) lift stations; and a wastewater treatment plant that provides secondary treatment before the effluent is discharged to the Big Run Creek.

The wastewater collection system in Butler contains separate sanitary sewers and combined sewers. The combined sewers in the Butler collection system were designed to convey wastewater and stormwater through a single pipe to the wastewater treatment plant.  During periods of wet weather, water can enter the collection system through inflow and infiltration and, if the hydraulic capacity of the main interceptor transporting wastewater to the treatment plant is exceeded, an overflow from the system may occur causing a combination of wastewater and stormwater to be discharged to Big Run Creek from the single combined sewer overflow (CSO) in the Butler collection system.

Butler manages the single combined sewer overflow (CSO) outfall in its collection system in compliance with current federal and state requirements and to preserve and protect the local environment.  The elected officials and staff of the Butler Wastewater Department are committed to properly managing the collection system, CSO Outfall and to abate through proper control and management any adverse effects of overflows from the collection system to the local environment.

Butler’s Wastewater Department recognizes that the operation and maintenance of the complete collection and treatment system must be based on a sound understanding of the system and well thought out operating procedures for the various components.   Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for the treatment components have been and will continue to be developed and implemented. A mandated CSO Long Term Control Plan for CSO Management was submitted to IDEM in 2001 and approved in 2008. That document was amended in 2014 and additional work approved by IDEM to further reduce the frequency, duration and volume of CSO events at Outfall 003.

The Wastewater Department updated their Combined Sewer System Operational Plan (CSSOP) in 2009 to reflect actions accomplished during the 2001 through 2008 time period. Those actions allowed Butler to better manage and operate the collection system.  The major objective in implementing the updated CSSOP was to reduce pollutant discharges from the CSO Outfall to Big Run Creek during wet weather overflow events.

The wastewater treatment plant was upgraded in 1996 to treat increased flows during dry weather (increased average daily design flow from 0.4 MGD to 0.9 MGD) and during wet weather events (increased peak hydraulic capacity to 1.2 MGD).  Additional mechanical and operational changes were instituted to bring the new plant into full compliance with all NPDES Permit requirements.

The City committed to another WWTP expansion in 2000. Construction was initiated in February 2001 to expand the WWTP to an average daily design flow of 2 MGD at a dry weather mass loading and a peak hydraulic capacity to 3 MGD at a dry weather mass loading. The new units (secondary clarifiers, influent wastewater pumps, chlorine contact tanks, return and waste sludge pumps) were placed into service in January 2002.

The City of Butler Stormwater Collection System

The City of Butler owns and operates a system of combined and separate sanitary sewers for the collection and transportation of wastewater and stormwater runoff to a treatment plant owned and operated by the City.  Sewers date to the early 1900s and the Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) dates to the mid-1930s.

Butler’s wastewater system consists of approximately eighteen (18) miles of separate sanitary and combined sewers, with seven (7) lift stations, serving approximately 950 customers and a population of 2,700 people; and a wastewater treatment plant that provides secondary treatment with single stage nitrification (since 1996)  before the effluent is chlorinated / dechlorinated and discharged to the Big Run Ditch.

Combined sewers in the Butler wastewater collection system were designed to convey wastewater and storm water through a single pipe to the wastewater treatment plant. The combination of wastewater and stormwater runoff from the combined sewer service areas may overflow and discharge, by design, at a permitted combined sewer overflow (per an NPDES Permit) during stormwater conditions.

Location of the new Butler City Drain along the south side of the
Norfolk Southern railroad tracks in downtown Butler

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) have focused on minimizing or eliminating CSO events under the Clean Water Act. Butler has completed a number of projects since 2000 to achieve those focused objectives. The City continues to work to meet the more stringent rules as they are introduced. Butler’s ongoing efforts to eliminate extraneous water from the combined sewer system has evolved into a two-tiered program:

  • continue to address wastewater CSO issues; and
  • improve the separate storm sewer system.

Butler entered into an Agreed Order with IDEM in 2014 to memorialize efforts for the two-tiered program and this grant project is an additional element of improving Butler’s limited separate storm sewer system.

A sewer separation project was completed in 2009 on the south side of US 6 from South Pearl Street to Maple Street to remove inflow and infiltration sources from the primary combined wastewater  interceptor sewer under US 6. Butler has worked with the DeKalb County Drainage Board since 2009 to address stormwater drainage that has negatively impacted the combined sewer system and affected the amount of stormwater entering the Butler wastewater collection system.

The first project with the County Drainage Board was completed in 2013 – clearing Big Run Creek of fallen trees and debris that obstructed stormwater discharges from SR 1 on the North side of Butler. This involved a joint effort between Butler, DeKalb County, Indiana DNR, Ohio DNR and Williams and Fulton Counties in Ohio. A second project (repair, replacement and upgrades to the Butler City Drain) is scheduled for construction to be initiated in July 2017 and to be completed by June 30, 2018. This project will allow further development of Butler’s separate storm sewer system especially on the south side of the City.

A forthcoming project, which the City hopes to partially fund with a grant, is intended to remove additional stormwater from the combined interceptor under US 6 and transport it to and through larger storm sewers into the Big Run Ditch upstream of the WWTP. This proposed expanded storm sewer capacity is north of US 6 from North Pearl Street to Maple Street and is similar to the 2009 project. A new storm sewer will be constructed and the existing inlets and catch basins will be redirected from the existing combined sewer to the new storm sewer. Improved stormwater drainage and reduced inflow and infiltration into the combined sewer will result. This should also allow additional separate storm sewers to be installed on the north side of the City in the future.

Discussions with City staff revealed that there are five areas within the City where flooding and/or combined sewer surcharging has historically been a problem. The five areas are shown on Figure 1 below and are identified as:

  • Broadway Sewer (North Broadway, Washington, James, Eastern and Oak Streets)
  • Depot Street
  • South of Tracks Area (Willow, Cherry and Walnut Streets west of Broadway)
  • ThermaTru (Intersection of State Road 1 and County Road 30)
  • North of 6 Area (Pearl and Canal Streets north of Green Street and Green Street between Pearl and Beech on the north side of US Route 6).

The City of Butler Water System

The City of Butler, Indiana, through its water utility, began providing drinking water to the residents of the City in 1936 after purchasing the water supply system from the Indiana Water Works Corporation. The first wells, first segments of the distribution mains and the first elevated water storage tank were placed into service around 1892.

Water Tower 3
Butler Water Tower

Growth continued throughout the next 70 years to include automatic chlorination equipment in 1959; a new, 300,000 gallon elevated storage tank in 1963; iron and manganese treatment / removal facilities in 1985; and a distribution system that has grown to 20.4 miles of water mains. The original iron / manganese treatment units were replaced with new, upgraded models installed in 2009.

Water Plant 2
Butler Water Plant

The Utility produces and distributes about 300,000 gallons of safe, reliable potable water on a daily basis to the 2,700 residents of Butler, with 950 customer (residential, commercial and industrial) accounts. The Utility owns, operates and maintains 2 municipal wells (500 gpm and 1,000 gpm capacities); a 750,000 gpd capacity water treatment plant; and a 300,000 gallon elevated storage tank.

Well 4 and Water Tower
Well # 4

In addition to the 20.4 miles of water mains, the distribution system includes 151 hydrants for use by the Butler-Wilmington Fire Department in fighting fires.

The City of Butler Street System

Butler’s street system is comprised of 13.9 lineal miles of pavement, and includes the following streets:

Baldwin100North Broadway100-600
Basket Factory Road100-400North Canal100-400
Booster100North Ivy100-200
Commerce100-300North Park300
County Road 63100-300North Pearl100-400
Depot100-400North Western100
East Cherry100Park200
East Green100-400Railroad100-400
East Liberty100-400Short100
East Main100-600South Beech100-200
East Monroe100-400South Broadway100-1000
East Oak100-500South Canal100-200
East Washington100-400South Federal100-700
East Willow100South Ivy100-200
Eastern100-200 /
South Park100
Elm100-500South Pearl100-200
High100-400West Cherry100-200
Independence600West Green100-500
James100-500West Liberty100-600
Jake100West Main100-700
Janke400West Main100-700
John100-400West Monroe100
Maple100West Oak100-400
Maxton100West South Shore100
Meadowmere100-300West Washington100-300
North Ash100-400West Willow100
North Beech100-500Western100-200 / 500
North Broadway100-600Westward400-500

Butler’s streets were laid out and developed at various times since the community’s founding.  A community typically develops by way of plats.  A plat, as defined by the Butler Zoning Ordinance, is a map or chart that shows a division of land and/or the layout for subdivisions.

Butler contains thirty-six plats.  The first three plats in Butler were recorded in 1855, as noted in the table below.  The plat with the largest number of individual lots is the “Butler Plat,” recorded in 1874.  The newest plat (2014) is the “Butler Partners” plat, site of the new Dollar General store.

Plat development involves the construction of streets, water and sewer mains, as well as the construction of new buildings.   Being aware of the timeframe in which a plat was developed can provide insight into the age of the infrastructure within the plat.

Plats are generally associated with “subdivision plats,” where new houses are built on individual lots.  Developments that occur on parcels of real estate that are un-platted are typically defined by “metes and bounds” descriptions.  This type of development usually applies to such larger-scale developments as factories and shopping centers.

09-West Liberty-200-block-looking west from John St
West Liberty Street

Maintenance of the street system involves the use of inventory and condition ratings established in the City’s “Asset Management Plan.”  The intent of the plan is to extend the life of the City’s pavement surfaces.

The rating system used to provide condition ratings for Butler’s streets is “PASER.”  The PASER system was developed by the Wisconsin Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP) and is utilized by several states throughout the country.  It is the system used, taught and preferred by the Indiana LTAP.

The City of Butler created the street inventory by breaking the streets down into block-by-block segments.  The lengths and widths of the street segments were determined from the City of Butler GIS system.

The process for the collection of the condition ratings included inputting the pavement condition ratings for each pavement segment directly into our GIS system using a wireless laptop.

The City of Butler’s pavement system is re-evaluated annually to determine the extent of pavement deterioration and to capture the effectiveness of the City’s pavement preservation treatments and practices.

Butler Parks

There are seven parks in the Butler park system.  Following is a review of each park:

Dick Miller Memorial Park

History & Summary – Dick Miller Memorial Park was established in 1986 when a gazebo and landscaping were erected at City’s main intersection of US Highway 6 and State Road 1.  The park serves as a  welcome to visitors and passers-by.

Location & Physical Setting – 100 South Broadway.  Located on portions of two platted lots.  Net size, minus rights-of-way, is approximately 3,041 square feet or 0.07 of an acre.  Impervious surfaces include a sidewalk and a gazebo roof.

Municipal & Utility Services – As a small corner park, Miller Park is too small to contain restroom facilities.  A fire hydrant, served by a 6-inch line, is located at the northeast corner of the park.  A 15-inch combined City sanitary-storm main lies within the West Main Street right-of-way adjacent to the north side of the park.

Hathaway Park

History & Summary – Hathaway Park was established sometime before 1960.  It is home to the City’s Water Treatment Plant, water tower and the Butler Youth League.  The park includes one lighted little league diamond, a basketball court with two hoops, a pavilion and an assortment of playground equipment.  The park is primarily used in the spring and  summer for baseball practice and scheduled  games.  The outdoor basketball court is also well-used.

Location & Physical Setting – 121 West Willow Street.  Located on two parcels, approximately 3.28 acres in total size, with approximately 0.67 acre of impervious surfaces (parking lots and basketball court).

Municipal & Utility Services – Due to the location of the City water tower and Water Treatment Plant in Hathaway Park, numerous water mains criss-cross the park area.  The numerous mains serve to deter the installation of very many permanent structures in the park.  There is a restroom building in the park.   There is an 8-inch City water main near the restroom building, and a 12-inch combined sanitary-storm sewer main located in the adjoining West Willow Street right-of-way, approximately 64 lineal feet from the restroom building.

Hendrickson Park / Susie Park

History & Summary – In 2002 the City of Butler officially acquired the property that had been known as the Hendrickson / Federal Street Diamond.  Susie Park is intersected by what is believed to be an old “Inter-Urban Railroad” right-of-way, which is now owned by the State of Indiana.

Location & Physical Setting – Since these are adjoining parks, they are reviewed together as one large recreation area.  Hendrickson Park is located at 406 South Federal Avenue.  It is located on two parcels of real property, a total 11.46 acres in size, with approximately 6.3 acres being wooded, and 5.16 acres being open greenspace.

Susie Park is located at 407 South Federal Avenue.  Susie Park is located on one parcel, 2.75 acres in size, which includes approximately one wooded acre.  There are no impervious surfaces in either park.

An apparent former “Inter-urban” rail right-of-way, 100-feet wide and approximately 1.07 acres in size, owned by the State of Indiana, lies to the south of the City-owned Susie Park.  Two additional City-owned parcels lie south of this right-of-way, but are not generally considered to be part of the park.

Municipal & Utility Services – Hendrickson Park is served by a 2-inch water line, that was installed in 2011.  A spigot at the end of the line is located in the southwest corner of the park.  Neither park  is directly served by a City sanitary sewer main.

Mason Park
B-Pavilion and Table.JPG

Municipal & Utility Services – Hendrickson Park is served by a 2-inch water line, that was installed in 2011.  A spigot at the end of the line is located in the southwest corner of the park.  Neither park  is directly served by a City sanitary sewer main.

History & Summary – Mason Memorial Park was established in 1928.  It is a small neighborhood park oriented toward younger children.

Location & Physical Setting – 151 Depot Street.  The Mason Playground is comprised of two platted parcels, with a net area (excluding rights-of-way) of approximately 0.33 of an acre.  Other than a small pavilion roof, there are no impervious surfaces in the playground area.

Municipal & Utility Services – A 15-inch combined City sanitary-storm main runs within the Depot Street right-of-way along the south side of the  playground.  A 4-inch water main runs within the Eastern Street right-of-way along the west side of the playground.  Neither main provides a service line to the park.

Mason Park was designed to be a neighborhood, or “vest-pocket” park.  As it is located on two relatively small city lots, it was never intended to be more than a neighborhood playground for local children.  There is no room to install extra features such as off-street parking and restrooms.

Maxton Park 
B-Road to North end of park

History & Summary – Maxton Park is the largest park in Butler and was created in 1957.

Location & Physical Setting – 701 East Green Street.  Maxton Park is comprised of two parcels totaling 34 acres in size.  Net park area, minus the Butler Wastewater Treatment Plant (2.01 acres +/-) is approximately 31.99 acres, with an approximate 7.91 acres of open space, and 0.5 of an acre of driveway area.  The balance of the park (approximately 23.58 acres) is wooded.

Municipal & Utility Services – The Maxton Park restroom is served by a 2-inch water-line and a 12-inch sanitary sewer line.

South Side Park

Location & Physical Setting – 232 Walnut Street.  Southside Park is comprised of four parcels, 9.16 acres in size, excluding rights-of-way.  Approximately 1.32 acres are wooded.  The City was donated a parcel of land in 2011, 4.5 acres in size, that adjoins Southside Park and is all wooded.

History & Summary – South Side Park is the City’s newest park.  The land was acquired in November of 2001, and development of the facility began in 2003 with the construction of a community built playground, a restroom, driveway access, and parking lot.  Construction  continued in 2004 with the purchase and installation of a 36-foot hexagon pavilion with tables, sidewalks, and the paving of approximately one-third of the half-mile walking trail.

Municipal & Utility Services – Southside Park is served by a one-inch service line connected to a 4-inch City water main.  A 15-inch diameter combined sanitary-storm main lies adjacent to the north side of the park within the Walnut Street right-of-way.


Have any questions or comments about Butler’s infrastructure?  What is your favorite Butler park?  You are welcome to submit your ideas and comments via our Comments form.

We appreciate your participation and input.

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