(KCCR) — A sewer line repair project in Pierre continues to get bigger and city crews keep finding surprises in the form of more work. The issues began with a sinkhole in Griffin Park. Elevated Missouri River flows aren’t helping and a severe thunderstorm in mid-July caused the first section of pipe to collapse. As repairs took place they found a second area in poor condition. Mayor Steve Harding says a Colorado company was working on the second issue when the third showed up….
“We go to unplug it, again, thinking it was fixed, well the pipe cracked going west then by that manhole and we start getting more infiltration from groundwater. So now, that just happened yesterday afternoon. The plan now is to do the same thing with that inflatable balloon to…to stop the infiltration where the line crack, so hopefully that’ll be completed here, you know, within a couple days and we’ll have that done.”
Harding says the expanding issue is impacting regularly scheduled work…
“It’s taking us away from other jobs, planned jobs that we had around the city, you know for…for water line replacement. We try and replace sanitary sewer and water lines that we know are old and you know, just proactively so that we can get that all those old lines replaced. So it’s taken us away from those planned jobs for wastewater and water lines which really…we’ll get em done you know but we may not get as much done this year as what we plan to do.”
Harding says the entire sewer main, which carries two-thirds of the city’s waste water may need a complete rebuild…
“I think over the next several years we’re going to have to probably replace that whole line and as we talked before, it’s 13 ft deep there by the Ree Street manhole. By the time; it’s all gravity feed, there’s no lift station, so it’s all gravity-fed down to the wastewater treatment plant and so it gets around you know to that 30 ft deep when it eventually gets that. It’s a… it’s a deep line we’re going to look at probably, you know, replacing that line from there clear down the wastewater treatment plant. We’ll have to phase that in because that’s going to be a big expensive project.”
Harding says the city may consider reconstruction on part of the waste water line as City Commissioners work to establish a city budget over the next few weeks for next year. A voluntary restriction on water use, especially in the morning remains in effect.