by Elisa Hawkes
Coastal Journal staff
BATH — According to Earl Hay, Public Works Foreman for the City of Bath, the Washington Street “force main” sewer line project has been completed with the exception of a “punch list of final touch items.”
A force main system is designed so that the pressure of liquid entering inflow pipes, combined with the flow of the gravity-fed outflow pipes, prevents backflow. This is done to ensure public health and safety. The system will also function when there is no power.
The project, which began last September, continued until late November, when the weather made it necessary to discontinue work. At that point, the new main sewer lines had been laid, and the trenches repaved. Work resumed in the spring. Storm drains were completed, and the catch basin system, to catch solid debris such as gravel, was also finished, Hay said.
The contractor, St. Laurent & Sons, began laying temporary bypass lines on October 5. This large plastic pipe running beside Washington and under some driveways and entrances was the provisional means for the transfer of wastewater. The new sewer installation began at Harward Street, and continued south toward Bowery Street, eventually to the treatment plant on Town Landing road. The new sewer line is now completely installed.
Hay said the new main is 16-inch pipe, as compared to the old 14-inch pipe. He said the system had just gotten old, and needed replacement. According to Hay, there were regular leaks and breaks in the old pipe system.
“There were so many cracks and leaks,” Hay said. “We kept patching them, but after a while you realized you were going to end up with a completely patched old pipe that was still only 14-inches wide.”
Hay said after a while it was not worth putting more money into the old pipeline. Also, the extra inches provide more flow potential.
During the construction project, there was a small amount of blasting about mid-way up the hill near Harward Street, but no additional blasting was required as the project moved south. Detours around construction did occur during the course of the endeavor, but surface paving and yard/property restoration has now been completed.
Ransom Environmental is the City’s Engineer for this project.