Water Street Sewer Project Behind Schedule
Excess groundwater at the sewage treatment plant has slowed work.
Replacement of the sewer line from the waste-water treatment plant the length of Water Street was to have been largely done by now. Persistent ground water has kept the project pinned to the beginning phase at the treatment plant, said Public Works director Joe Duarte.
"It is going much slower than we thought," he said last week. This initial work is the most complicated part, he said.
Work began on the sewer line replacement in early September, starting at the treatment plant. That work has required extensive excavation, with the entire Barbara Tufts playground being closed off. Duarte said the playground would be replaced to pre-project status when the work there is done.
Groundwater hasn't been the only delay. Work was stalled because of Hurricane Sandy too, although the treatment plant was spared the type of flooding seen in other recent storms.
The work is being done by William Anthony Excavating for a total price of $1.8 million. Water pipes along Water Street are also going to be replaced, with a cost to KCWA of $172,000.
Duarte said he hoped the line replacement could move out from the treatment plant in the next couple of weeks. Once the work hits Water Street, it should move faster, he said, mainly because the pipes run closer to the surface there.
Work will continue as long as the weather holds out. Ideally, it will be done early in January. According to Duarte, the delays won't cost the town additional money.
"We haven't seen anything unusual to cost us more," he said. The money comes from a $5 million bond passed by voters in 2007. By using a state "revolving fund," the town gets a lower interest rate, Duarte said, in this case about one point under prime.
William Anthony was the company that carried out the capping of the former landfill (now known as Scalloptown Park).
At issue are the old clay pipes, which are being replaced with PVC, a strong plastic that should last many decades.
"This is as a result of overflows and requirements of the EPA," Duarte told the Town Council at a meeting in April. Water Street has had problems for many years.
"About half of our sewer flow comes thru this pipe," Duarte said.