Sewer fix could be ‘lengthy, expensive’

Published Jan 9, 2017 at 12:00pm

The city might have to replace a 250-foot length of sewer line on Erie Boulevard West after discovering clogged sections and damage to the line, said Public Works Commissioner Frederick L. Schmidt this morning.

“It could be lengthy and it could be expensive. Those things are what we’re working on today,” said Schmidt.

Clogs in the line initially forced the city to close one lane of the boulevard. Now, the northern most westbound lane is only open to local traffic, the passing lane westbound is closed entirely and the center turning lane is being used for westbound traffic. That’s because the city had to set up a bypass pumping system to keep the system operational in the area during repairs.

The road closure runs about 1,700 feet from Arsenal Street west to Doxtator Street.

The 12-inch vitrified clay pipe is probably at least 60 years old. Schmidt said the city could have to replace 250 feet of pipe. To do so will require digging 15 feet. That could take a week or two, it could take more, he said.

“It is taking a toll on our manpower because it’s a 24-hour-a-day situation we have to man,” Schmidt said.

Then crews had to respond to a water line break on Depeyster Street at Lawrence Street Sunday, he noted. The city became aware of that situation due to icy road conditions there. Bolts rusted off a repair clamp, and crews had to install new wrap around repair clamps on the six-inch cast iron pipe. The line as at least 50 years old, city officials estimated.

“It was a tough one because it leaked during the repair,” Schmidt noted. Crews completed the work around 7 p.m. Sunday. About 20-25 customers were affected.