Dublin’s Director of Public Works, Cory James, addressed the city council on Monday night requesting authorization to proceed with replacement of several sections of antiquated sewer lines that have been an ongoing headache for the city.
James said the aging infrastructure is a big part of the problem because much of Dublin’s sewer system uses old clay tile pipe. He explained that breaks, accidental punctures from digging and the like cause constant challenges for the department.
“When we get a crack or hole in a pipe, especially near older homes where drainage is poor, we get what’s called inflow and infiltration, or I and I,” he said.
That’s basically rain water getting into the sewer pipes and bringing with it whatever the water is carrying that's small enough to seep through. This means that when there’s heavy rain as Texas is experiencing this year, water builds up over the opening, flows into the sewer system and that brings in everything from bricks to shoes to glass jars and other debris, causing serious blockages and backups.
James said the emergency replacements are for sewer lines that his crew will soon no longer be able to get their sewer machine through.
“We basically go out and unstop it by running into it from one end and then going over to the other side and running into it from that end and eventually it starts to flow. One of these days that isn’t going to solve it.
“We’re pulling out chunks of pipe every time we run into it. At some point, the next stage of the pipe is going to collapse and we’re going to have a big problem. We’ve had close to 20 stoppages alone on Eagle Street.”
His crew can sometimes make spot repairs but as he explains, “When we’ve been in there in the past the line just keeps falling apart. You dig into it, you find a bad spot, you try to clean it off and make a good cut to tie onto and the next three feet will just crumble in.”
The city council unanimously approved James' request to proceed with replacement of the designated sewer lines.
Those lines run along Eagle Street from Mesquite to Harris, on Blackjack at an alley way that runs parallel to Patrick crossing Camden, and on West Live Oak from Harrell to Highland.