Firm hired to test sewers
The Washington City Council put its money where its mouth is during Wednesday’s regular meeting and hired a firm to explore the city’s sewer lines for inflow and infiltration.
After hearing from two citizens, both with homes on South 14th Avenue, who reported sewer backups into their basements, the council approved spending $17,500, or $1.25 per foot for 14,000 linear feet, to hire the firm Hydro-Klean to video a series or sanitary sewer pipes. The city had been making internal videos of pipes between South Seventh and South Eighth avenues until last Friday, when the head on the city’s camera became inoperable. City Administrator Brent Hinson said a loan camera is on its way while the city’s camera is being repaired.
“The City has recently experienced sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs) in areas not previously affected by SSOs, and believes it is possible a major obstruction, collapse or pipe offset may exist in the Southeast Interceptor, which when coupled with significant inflow/infiltration somewhere in the system, has contributed to the SSOs,” City administrator Brent Hinson said in a letter to prospective bidders for the project.
During the meeting city maintenance and construction supervisor J.J. Bell said the city had televised 2,000 feet of storm and sanitary sewers since the last city council meeting. He also said the department has been locating and digging up manhole covers to aid the contractor in televising the inside of the sewer pipes. He also said the department has been working with an engineering firm so when a problem is found it can be quickly repaired.
Bell said the amount of rainwater in the sewer system has been causing problems televising the inside of the sewer system, as does the size of the piping that needs to be videotaped.
“I think we are moving in the right direction,” Bell said, when asked if the city is doing all it could to find the sewer problems.
“Identifying that this is inflow and infiltration is easy,” Hinson said. “Identifying the problem is the hard part.”
Council member Bob Shepherd commented that the expense hadn’t been budgeted, but it had to be done. He complimented the accounting Hinson had done to find the money to use for the project.
Council member Bob Shellmyer asked about the camera the city uses to televise the inside of sewer pipes. He said that the city had paid $100,000 for it less than a year ago and there have been several problems with it. Hinson said that it had been “frustrating” and that he has been in discussions with the dealer about the problems.