An ongoing sewer project in the area near the Duck River, behind the old Riverview School has hit a snag when the bypass system that the contractor was using to isolate a section of line ran out of fuel and began to discharge its contents into the area.
The Riverview sewer rehabilitation project ($600,000 remaining in the contract to be done) involves pipe bursting, a system that inserts equipment into an existing sewer line, then burst out the old sewer line and pull a new one in its place, explained Manchester Water and Sewer Director Bryan Pennington.
The section that is being retrofitted is isolated from the system with a bypass pump set to move sewage from one manhole to another downstream.
“Sometime around May 15, the contractor allowed those pumps to run out of fuel,” Pennington said. “We notified them and they didn’t respond.”
The city water department took over the task of running the pumping systems and filed a claim with the contractor’s bonding company.
A forthcoming meeting is planned to, hopefully, resolve the contract issues shortly, Pennington said.
In mid-May, when the pump stopped, sewage was spilled in the area.
“When we noticed that, we acted immediately. We called the owners of the (rental) pumps and they gave us permission to fuel those pumps and get them running,” Pennington said.
“In the meantime, we ordered our own set of pumps, until this gets resolved with the bonding company.”
The city did all the cleanup mitigating the situation. The state was contacted for support and guidance.
“They said that everything we were doing, we were doing correctly and allowed us to continue the work,” Pennington said.
The area has been cleaned up, but remains closed, not for environmental hazards, but for safety reasons.
“There’s a section of pipe floating in the river… and while we have the bypass pumps working in the area the pipes have to cross where the trail crosses the creek. We don’t want anyone to fall or trip over those 8-inch hard pipes,” Pennington said.
“It looks as good as it ever has. Of course whenever you have construction going on, it’s muddy and a mess, but we’ve gone down there and put in erosion control matting and added a lot of things that the contractor should have been doing,” he said.
The project is ongoing. The delay should be resolved following the meeting with the bond company, so that work can be resumed.