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A majority of manhole repair work, aimed to strengthen weak spots in the Town’s sewer infrastructure, has already been completed, and the remaining few spots will be finished by tomorrow.
Waste Waster Treatment Plant Superintendent Dennis Dievert said most of the work in the wetlands was completed last week, with a few other manholes scattered around town scheduled for completion by Friday. Dievert said the permit to perform the work was set to expire at the end of September so he asked for, and was granted, a 30-day extension. However, Dievert said the request was made in case inclement weather slowed the project down, but he anticipated the work to be finished shortly.
“Everything should be done by Oct. 2,” Divert said. “I didn’t feel we needed the extension because everything is on schedule, but this protects us from unforeseen weather.”
The manhole work includes repairing the shafts that are cracked or decayed, raising the manholes above flood levels, or completely sealing the manhole covers onto the shafts. The work is being performed as part of inflow and infiltration remediation to limit undue stress on the treatment plant. When a heavy rainstorm occurs, flows at the treatment plant spike, which alerted the Town to problems in the sewer lines. While there were some problems with the sewer pipes, Dievert said the “biggest bang for the buck” could be achieved by fixing 142 faulty manholes. When the watercourses rise during storms, many manholes are submersed in water. Now, the manholes are above flood limits or, in some cases, completely waterproof so no excess flow should enter the plant from these manholes.
VMS Construction from Vernon was awarded the bid in May for $583,250 and the work began in early July. The money had already been allocated in previous capital budgets for inflow and infiltration remediation work. Dievert mentioned last week that another damaged manhole was discovered during the project that was not scheduled for repair, but VMS was able to fix it as part of the job.
Some of the manholes were located on private property and Dievert had to obtain temporary access agreements from resident and business owners. Dievert said he obtained all 30 agreements, which helped limit damage to the wetlands. He said the workers could have used right-of-way access, but with the temporary easements, damage to the wetlands by workers and equipment would be lessened. Dievert said he was pleased with the cooperation and support from the community.
“I just have to give a big ‘thank you’ to the residents and businesses, they were more than helpful,” Dievert said. “There have been no complaints or issues with the project. I think it’s been a successful project that is on schedule and on budget.”