Giles PSA considers replacing water line
June 15, 2011
Giles PSA considers replacing water line - Virginia Leader
At the meeting of the Giles County Public Service Authority (PSA) held last Thursday, June 9, 2011, the board discussed the possibility of replacing a portion of the main water transmission line between Rich Creek and Narrows after experiencing three separate leaks on the line in one day of the previous week.
This makes a total of at least 10 leaks that have happened in the past year or two.
PSA Interim Director Roger Houck said that those leaks seem to be occurring on 5,000 linear feet of the line. The cause of the leaks appears to be corrosion. Houck showed the board the soil that is next to the pipe and talked to the board about research he had done on the matter.
“This area is not normally a high corrosive area because of the soil but this particular area where this pipe is, is an old railroad bed has a lot of ash and coal and also it is a flat area with a lot of standing water and it’s right beside the road.” Houck said.
He added that salt from the wintertime gets washed off and he stated it was a combination of different things that could be contributing to the corrosion. He took a sample of the soil to Virginia Tech and he is awaiting the results from that analysis.
Houck then said he spoke to Greg Hurst of Thompson and Litton and the only option appears to be to replace the line.
“The older it gets, the worse its going to get.” Houck said.
There are two types of pipe that could be used for that replacement. One option is ductile iron that is epoxy coated. The second option is HDPE, which means high-density polyethylene.
Houck said he wouldn’t recommend the ductile iron with the epoxy coating because if it is scratched or damaged in installation then there would still be corrosion.
The HDPE pipe is shipped in 40-foot lengths and is then welded together. It would also hold the estimated 300 pounds of water pressure that goes through that area. Houck added that they use that type of piping in coalmines to pump slurry through it.
Houck stated that the biggest thing is that Thompson and Litton estimated that it would cost $50 to $55 per linear foot to install the pipe, which would come out to about a quarter of a million or more dollars. He also said the ductile iron would cost about the same.
Larry “Jay” Williams wanted to have the question asked to Thompson and Litton of where the inspector was when the pipe was put in without any bedding (which is to prevent large rocks from rubbing the pipe). Chief Water Operator Steve Newby also said he wanted to look back at the original inspection.
Williams also asked if the pipe was faulty.
Houck said that a sample of pipe was taken to Griffin Pipe and they stated that it was corrosion.
In a letter to the PSA, Rich Creek Town Manager Roger Jones stated, “The numerous failures and resulting repair work has taken it’s toll on the maintenance departments and increased the cost of production and transmission for every water user on the system. Additionally, a health risk is encountered each time the pipe is opened to the atmosphere and not properly disinfected before being placed back in service”
The letter went on to talk about how there have been customer complaints about high turbidity and air after those repairs on the line. The Rich Creek line is then flushed and in turn creates an added cost to the town due to the increased water purchases and the additional costs of labor.
Jones asked the board for a credit of 100,000 gallons, which was used during flushing to clear out the system. The board approved giving credit for the 100,000 gallons.
The staff will go to contractors for pricing and will have more information next meeting.