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Fayette sewer project nears completion

Justin Addison, Editor/Publisher
Posted 1/17/23

The city’s ongoing sewer replacement project is nearly complete. During its regular meeting on Tuesday, January 10, the Fayette city council approved a change order that affects one of the …

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Fayette sewer project nears completion


The city’s ongoing sewer replacement project is nearly complete. During its regular meeting on Tuesday, January 10, the Fayette city council approved a change order that affects one of the final areas of the project near the Fayette Co-op. 

Project manager Don Jenkins of MECO Engineering explained to the council that a water line buried deeper than expected uses the same space that a sewer pipe needs to occupy. He suggested using a 12-inch line rather than the proposed 18-inch line to solve the problem and avoid the expense of moving the water line, which would put the project over budget.

“Coming up on the main line on this last section we’re doing along Terra Road south of the MFA plant, we ran into the 10-inch water line that feeds the town from the Howard County distribution plant,” Jenkins told the council. “The cost to move that water line to allow the sewer line would take the project over budget. Our plan right now is to take the existing line and stop it less than 100 feet short of reaching Railroad [Street] and tie it into the existing 12-inch plastic line that’s there currently. Overall, it would be a deduction in the project.”

Three manholes included in the project would be eliminated at the intersection of South Park and Railroad streets. “Those would come out because of the elevations and the grades that are in them, and the angles of the lines coming into them wouldn’t work anymore. So, they would have to come out of the project,” Jenkins said.

Danny Dougherty, the city’s Director of Public Works, said the city couldn’t afford to move the water line to make way for an 18-inch sewer pipe.

 “The Mayor and I looked at the budget. I would like to do it, but I don’t see any way we could come up with that extra,” Dougherty said.

Another complication is a six-inch water line in the area that hasn’t been located. 

“Nobody knows where it is,” Dougherty said. 

Crews from Ryan Construction dug for half a day trying to locate the line but were unsuccessful. 

 “It’s not like we’re asking to use an old clay pipe or something that’s gone or in terrible condition,” explained Fayette Mayor Jeremy Dawson. “The pipe we would be reusing is in decent condition. The biggest problem is that it’s 12 inches instead of 18 inches.”

Jenkins said there would be no issues using the 12-inch pipe in place of the proposed 18-pipe for that section that would lead straight into the plant, especially considering improvements in the city’s inflow-and-infiltration (I&I) issues, which occur when stormwater and groundwater enter a wastewater system.

“With all of the I&I and all the work we’ve done…all of the places around town we’ve had any kind of rains, the city popped lids and looked, and the manholes that have backed up in the past seem to be working fine,” Jenkins said. “Removing all of the I&I from the system has really helped. I don’t foresee any backups in the area.”

Jenkins said with the approval of the change order, the project should wrap up in the next two weeks. The deadline to complete the project is April 28.

The $5,566,000 project began in late July of last year. The city secured a grant in the amount of $1.833 million from the U. S. Department of Agriculture. The city is responsible for $3,233,000, which is funded by the sale of bonds with an interest rate of 1.65%.


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