The Canal Winchester Times

Corroded wastewater line

Repairs are expected to cost city thousands

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Canal Winchester could be looking at several hundred-thousand dollars in wastewater line repairs after crews found a corroded 16-inch pipe.

Water Reclamation Manager Steve Smith presented the issue at city council's service committee meeting Nov. 18. He brought along a piece of the corroded pipe that was replaced as part of an initial emergency repair.

"We installed a manhole on East Waterloo Street in a section of line with no access and found it to be about 50-percent occluded," he said.

Smith said workers "cleaned it out so now everything is back to good there.

"However, there was a contractor installing an irrigation line and they noticed there was sewage flowing out of what seemed like nowhere," he added.

Smith's team trenched out the section of pipe and found it had deteriorated to the point that the entire top of the pipe was missing.

"It was completely gone," he said. "The pipe had been installed in 1991 and for now, we had a contractor replace about 40 feet, but next year, we'll need to do more investigation -- which might mean replacing another 1,000 feet."

The iron pipe currently in the ground is from the same era and material as a pipe that had a similar failure under Washington Street earlier this year, he said.

According to Smith, this type of pipe was up to specifications and was commonly used from the 1970s through the 1990s. However, the replacement pipe will be made of heavy-duty plastics.

"This was the primary type of water line used back then, but now we use a plastic-type line which does a better job and tends to be cheaper," he said. "The total length of this pipe is over a mile long, so hopefully, we'll find it's just part of the line that needs replaced."

Construction Services Administrator Bill Sims said the city is looking into possible money-saving options.

"The 16-inch pipe is very large and very expensive, so we'll see if we can get down to a 12-inch pipe," he said. "We'll also look at different installation techniques that they've developed, like possibly installing the new line inside of the current line.

"No matter what, it'll be expensive."

The water department recently found a water supply line that developed a leak at Canal Pointe Industrial Park as well, and according to manager Gary Schmitt, crews were able to isolate and repair that leak quickly.

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