Town sewer rehab begins


With the sewer rehabilitation project underway in Brownstown, it has been so far, so good for the most part.

Workers with Insituform Technologies LLC are nearly done televising the sewers, and they only found four locations where they are going to have to dig up the sewers and make repairs to get the liner through.

Brent Siebenthal, president of Wessler Engineering, said that news was better than expected given the sewers never had been televised in the past. But once they look at the videos of the sewers, there may still be some surprises, he said.

The first of six manholes recently was installed, and it was learned that a seventh one wasn’t needed. The manholes give Insituform access to put the liner in and Scott Hunsucker, superintendent of Brownstown Wastewater Utility, access to clean the sewers in the future.

“Three of them are located in areas that the sewers weren’t as long as we thought they were, so three of the manholes are going to be in difference locations. A couple had gas line conflicts,” Siebenthal said.

Since seven manholes were anticipated, Siebenthal said there may be some price adjustments because the manholes may end up being in different spots.

He also said he expects the sewer line work to begin soon. They have found that some of the pipes are 7¾ inches in size instead of 8 inches, so they will have to be custom ordered.

Specialized sliplining equipment will be used to place a resin liner through a manhole. The liner is pulled through with steam or hot water and expands and conforms to existing pipe, and it forms up like PVC pipe.

A couple of days before Insituform workers do sliplining in a neighborhood, they will either place a door hanger or talk to homeowners and business owners letting them know when their sewer access will temporarily be shut off.

People will be asked to preserve water as much as possible to avoid backup of sewer water in residences and businesses. That will include not washing clothes or dishes, taking showers or baths or flushing toilets and turning off sump pumps that are connected to the sewer service for a four- to six-hour period.

That will allow workers to install a liner from one manhole to another. It will take between three and six hours to cure the pipe, Hunsucker said.

Most of the work will be in manholes on the streets, but there are a few to repair behind homes. Hunsucker said they will have those residents sign a right of entry document to allow workers to be on their property.

With the work that has been done so far, Hunsucker said he only knows of five residents who have experienced problems when the cleaning and televising was done near their home. That involved water in the toilet “burping” out onto the floor.

The burden of financial restitution falls on the contractor if any damage is caused by their performance, Siebenthal said.

“Typically, when a contractor gets into a situation where they have caused a backup or two, they will dial it back down and be careful because our specs are written as such that they are responsible for any damage to public or private property,” he said.

Siebenthal said they have found a substantial amount of grease accumulated in some of the sewers, so those segments had to be cleaned a second time.

He also presented a pay claim and a change order to the Brownstown Town Council for approval.

The claim of $10,000.78 was for stored materials, which includes the material the liners are constructed out of.

The change order of $53,012.39 was for adding nearly 2,200 feet of 8-inch sanitary sewer line and about 1,500 feet of additional sewers to televise. That will add seven days to the construction contract.

Siebenthal said once all of the videos are reviewed, they will talk to the contractor about the cost to perform point repairs. Then a change order will be issued to add that to the project.

The whole project is expected to be completed by early October.

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While sliplining of sewers is being performed in Brownstown, sewer service will be temporarily sealed off for a four- to six-hour period in the area of the work.

That work recently began and is scheduled to be completed by May 4.

To avoid backup of sewer water water into your residence or business:

  • Do not wash clothes or dishes
  • Do not take showers or baths
  • Do not flush toilets
  • Turn off sump pumps that are connected to the sewer service