GLOVERSVILLE — City officials are leaning toward completely replacing a clay sewer main that broke last month on South Main Street after initially planning to bypass the leak using a plastic liner system.
On April 20, the sewer main — estimated to be around 117 years old — broke at a creek crossing behind 199 S. Main St. Raw sewage was reaching Cayadutta Creek as a result. Officials initially planned to install the liner system inside the pipe to circumvent the break, but after finding another break further up the line, they are now looking to replace the pipe altogether.
The work is estimated to cost nearly $1 million and is slated to be completed by the end of May, according to Department of Public Works Director Dale Trumbull.
“Now we’re looking at a complete replacement,” Trumbull said. “We’ve been running cameras through these pipes and they’re in a lot worse condition than we thought.”
Mayor Dayton King said there currently is no sewage leaking into the creek, which feeds into the Mohawk River. He estimated that 3 million gallons of sewage had leaked per day into the creek over a period of 36 to 48 hours.
Precision Industrial Maintenance has been hired to pump the sewage, around the clock, into a different line. Trumbull said the per-day cost of that service is $40,000, but that is slated to increase after the second leak was found. Precision was required to use a longer line to pump away the sewage. Officials believe the leaks occurred due to tree roots penetrating the pipes.
King said early estimates put replacing the pipe around $500,000, which does not include the daily pump costs. He added that the city will be pursuing all manners of assistance from state sources to pay for the work, but that the city will be dipping into its contingency fund.
“We’re going to have to tap into it and we knew that," he said. "That’s part of building those reserves."
King is confident the city can get at least 25 percent of the work paid for through state assistance, saying he’s also confident the city can secure a zero interest loan to cover the rest of the work.
City water is still safe to drink, and King said officials are no longer asking residents to conserve water. East Pine Street between Beaver and South Main street remains closed. King said the brush drop-off site on Beaver Street is still accessible via Park Street. He added that the city does not expect to receive a fine related to the pipe break from the Department of Environmental Conservation.
King said he’s had conference calls with the governor’s office and the DEC. DEC Regional Director Robert Stegemann was on the scene last week and said the state is trying to help.
“At this point I think we’re going to stay under the million, but we won’t be far from it,” Trumbull said.