Sewer repair work wraps up in Brownstown



A Missouri-based contractor recently wrapped up sewer work in Brownstown to upgrade the town’s wastewater lines.

Insituform Technologies LLC put the finishing touches on the project the morning of April 13 after spending the previous afternoon sliplining the system on South Poplar Street.

Sliplining involves using specialized equipment 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 in its final form, hardens like PVC pipe.

The goal is to maximize the benefit of the length of the footage of sewers that can be lined using cured-in-place pipe technology. A cured-in-place pipe is among the trenchless rehabilitation methods used to repair existing pipelines and keep surface water from infiltrating the sanitary sewer system.

The town’s sanitary sewer system was installed in the 1950s, and a lot of those sewer lines have been infiltrated with tree roots or are just old and breaking down. Surface water has been getting into the pipes, going to the town’s wastewater treatment plant and causing problems.

Some residents experienced limited service interruption during sewer work near their home, anywhere from an hour to four hours.

The work was part of a project that sliplined 20,197 feet of sanitary sewer pipeline throughout the town, said Scott Hunsucker, superintendent of Brownstown Wastewater Utility.

The work began in the spring of 2017 and originally was expected to be completed by October, but progress was delayed by inclement weather.

The town was given an extension for the project because of the weather. The grant was set to expire in February 2018, but the state approved the extension.

The project was paid for in part by a $450,000 Wastewater Drinking Water Program grant from the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs.

The construction budget was set at $570,244.60.

Hunsucker said the original bid was for 11,536 feet of sanitary sewers to be lined, 26 manholes to be rehabilitated and the addition of seven manholes at the end of lines to allow for lining of the sewers.

He said the work is much better than the alternative, which would be to dig up the pipelines and physically replace them.

That process would take much longer and be more inconvenient, he said.

Hunsucker said the process is more cost-effective, too.

“It is practically $30, $35 a foot to do it this way but $250 a foot when we do it with the traditional open cut,” he said, adding the material will last a long time. “Its lifespan is about 80 to 100 years.”

Due to competitive pricing and the lack of major point repairs, Hunsucker said they have added 8,549 feet of lining with an additional 2,000 feet to be added with the remaining OCRA funds.

“To complete this project, we have approximately 2,000 feet of sewer to line and one structure in the high school parking lot to be installed,” he said. “This project has allowed us to line the sewers on Bridge, Walnut and Spring streets to Ewing along with some other points scattered around town.”

The next project, which Hunsucker said he hopes comes in five years, will be to replace two lift stations, rehabilitate 68,000 feet of line and 367 manholes and add 49 manholes at the ends of dead-end lines.

“This project will hopefully cover everything else in town that isn’t PVC pipe,” he said.

Since the town received a grant for the first phase, the second phase will not be eligible for grant funding from OCRA until seven years transpires. That could be bonded, and the town could seek grants from other sources.

The town’s wastewater treatment plant is designed to handle 670,000 gallons of normal flow and averages 450,000, but during big rain events, more than 2 million gallons flow through it, Hunsucker said.

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