By DAVID GREEN
Fayette village council members are expected to vote Wednesday on a proposal to pay additional funds for sewer cleaning. The additional costs are expected to be offset by canceling the need to replace many of the lines.
CamTech, the company hired to clean some lines, discovered the job would require much more time than expected.
“The scope of the cleaning is beyond what we anticipated,” explained Tim Harmsen of Arcadis, the village’s engineering firm. Harmsen spoke Sept. 14 at council’s committee-of-the-whole meeting.
Many of the smaller lines went as expected, said Greg Carson of CamTech Industrial Services, but that wasn’t the case with the larger interceptor line.
“The amount of debris in that pipe got progressively worse,” he said. “It got to the point where it was about a third to half full of debris.”
Workers took a break and moved to the north end of the line. Unfortunately, Carson said, it was even worse there.
Carson showed council members a video recording of the cleaning. He said the pipe was cleaned two times before inserting the camera and discovering much more work to do.
During an eight-hour period, the company was able to clean 170 feet; typically about 700 feet can be cleaned during that time.
The sludge removed from the lines had been taken to a village sewer lagoon, but the large quantity brings another concern. The 170-foot section required nine trips to the lagoon for dumping.
Harmsen said the volume of debris is about three times greater as expected. Carson said he has worked with communities that dump debris near their lagoons to allow it to drain and then use the dry material for fill in various projects.
Village administrator Amy Metz said a portion of the sewer lines were cleaned several years ago, but no camera was used and cleaning was not complete.
“If we had just used our jet trucks [without the camera],” Carson said, “we would have thought it was clean.”
Council member Julia Ruger asked about the cost of the extra cleaning. The initial estimate was $50,000, Harmen said, but the work is expected to cost an additional $37,000.
Whatever isn’t received in grants for the long-term sewer project will have to come through a loan, said village fiscal officer Lisa Zuver.
Carson told council earlier that the lines, although dirty, are some of the best he’s ever seen. Because of that, said mayor Ruth Marlatt, the village will save money by not having to replace the lines.
At this point, Harmsen said, the project is running about $300,000 less than originally anticipated, although cleaning and inspecting lines is not yet complete. Joints will be inspected and some might need to be grouted.
Recommendations for moving forward with the project will be made at the Sept. 28 council meeting.