Fri08292014

Last updateWed, 19 Nov 2014 8pm

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Colonial Beach sewers get a makeover

It’s a crappy job, but Tri-State is doing it well

If you live on the numbered streets (First thru Twelfth) in Colonial Beach, you may have noticed that there is a lot of rumbling and roaring of machinery going on in the ground lately. Relax, it’s not a series of tremors or an overzealous shade tree mechanic revving his engine. It’s Tri-State relining the sewer pipes.

People are normally not concerned with what happens after they flush the toilet, drain the sink or tub or when the washer drains—unless it backs up into the house. Then it becomes their top priority. But Town Manager Val Foulds has made it her top priority since she was hired, working behind the scenes along with CB Public Works to comply with mandates to upgrade every aspect of the water and sewer infrastructure in the town of Colonial Beach.

Tri-State Utilities has been contracted by G.L. Howard, Inc., to perform some of the repairs to the town’s sewer lines as part of $3.2 million project to rehabilitate the town’s failing sewer infrastructure.

The majority of the work done on the numbered streets involves cured-in-place pipe (CIPP) linings.

This type of work eliminates the need for digging and replacing pipes that could not only take weeks, but would seriously disrupt soil and vegetation. Residents in areas of the relining procedures do not have to be concerned with grass, plant or tree removal.

Also, service does not have to be disrupted for more than a day, at the most. The water remains on for residents, but they are asked to avoid allowing waste down the drains and toilets until the project is completed each day, to avoid any backup in homes, in cases where residential pipes may be temporarily blocked.

The CIPP liner that Tri-State is using is a resin-based, cloth hose that is sent through existing pipes in collapsed form, and turned inside out as it enters the pipe. The hose is then expanded with cold air to fit the size of the existing pipe. Each liner is custom engineered and manufactured to meet the requirements of each particular project.

Tri-State then passes hot steam through the liner to allow it to harden and cure (turning it into a hard inner-pipe), changing its color, and molding it to the existing sewer pipe.

The final step of the procedure is to go through the pipe and carefully cut out the openings to each lateral pipe. Lateral pipes are the sewer pipes that lead from each house to carry wastewater to the town’s sewer pipes.

Tri-State uses a state-of-the-art mechanical cutting tool. Controlled by Eric Huey, each lateral pipe is located and cut from inside one of Tri-States’ mobile units. With the use of a camera, a skilled hand operates the cutter.

Last year, the Town of Colonial Beach hired G.L. Howard, Inc., to perform sanitary sewer improvements (also known as Phase III Improvements) to the town’s sanitary sewer system. The project will cost $3,236,884.

The repairs in this phase are being conducted on the numbered streets in the Classic Shores subdivision of the town. The purpose of the project is to eliminate inflow and infiltration of rainwater into the sewer system, which results in a greater amount of sewage being treated at the town’s wastewater sewer plant. The filtration of the extra water adds to the operating costs for the plant.

There will be three types of repairs being conducted on the sewer lines: total replacement, relining and bursting.
Bursting, which is described as “rehabilitation” in the company’s documents, involves sending a wedge into the pipe to break it up. New pipe will be inserted behind the wedge as it follows the path of the existing pipe. Rob Murphy, Director of Public Works, said that residents should expect more digging to take place during the bursting process than there is during the relining process.

The project requires approximately 17,460 linear feet (LF) of CIPP reliner, rehabilitation (bursting) of 73 existing manholes, installation of 19 proposed manholes, and the installation of new water meters and replacement of approximately 6,415 LF of sewer pipeline.

Residents will be kept informed by letters and through the use of the instant alert system when work that will affect them is being performed in their area.

Murphy has stated that all work being performed will be within the town’s right of way, and if water and sewer service is interrupted, the company will make every effort to notify residents prior to any interruption of service.

Linda Farneth

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