Willoughby, East­lake seek to re­place sewer that burst near river

The News Herald (Willoughby, OH) - - Front Page - By Tyler Rigg [email protected]­ald.com

The Willoughby-East­lake Wa­ter Pol­lu­tion Control Cen­ter plans to re­place a sewer line that was in­volved in a leak on Nov. 20 be­tween Lakeshore Boule­vard and the Cha­grin River.

Ac­cord­ing to Willoughby Di­rec­tor of Pub­lic Ser­vice Lee Bock, the sewer pipe had cor­roded and burst af­ter a buildup of hy­dro­gen sul­fide gas. The leak caused some dis­charge into the river, near 35933 Lakeshore Blvd., just across the river from the Willoughby-East­lake joint wa­ter treat­ment plant where the sewer runs.

The leak was stopped the morn­ing of the oc­cur­rence by work­ers who were able to re­di­rect the flow. Bock stated that a sub­se­quent plug in the line prompted a by­pass, about 25 feet of tem­po­rary sewer.

“We’ve in­stalled a re­lief pipe that con­tin­ues to put the flow into the East­lake sewer so we that don’t have any back­ups,” Bock said. “The force main is still pump­ing, but it’s pump­ing into this by­pass that we in­stalled.”

The city is seek­ing in­de­pen­dent con­trac­tors to clear the block­age and re­place the dam­aged line. Gorka said that the block­age is spec­u­lated to be near a valve, but they won’t know un­til a con­trac­tor be­gins work.

“Ac­tu­ally re­pair­ing the line in ques­tion, that’s prob­a­bly like 200 feet maybe of line that we’ll have to re­place, re­line...” said WPCC Su­per­in­ten­dent Jack Gorka. “We’ve al­ready re­paired a sec­tion of it, about 30 feet, but we started it up and it still wasn’t pump­ing, so that way we know we’ve got a plug... We won’t know (where) un­til we start dig­ging.”

Gorka said that the gas buildup could’ve been a cause of the block­age.

“The line it­self got eaten up and at some point got plugged up, which caused the wa­ter to find an­other path,” Gorka said, “which is man­i­fest­ing in the break, the push­ing up through the ground... It must’ve dead­headed against some­thing, is what we’re think­ing, is that part of the soil and all that ran into the pipe and caused the plug.”

Gorka high­lighted that the plan is to in­stall the re­place­ment pipe with a type of lin­ing that is de­signed re­sist hy­dro­gen sul­fide, the com­pound that had cor­roded the orig­i­nal pipe.

Willoughby and East­lake of­fi­cials are now in search for con­trac­tors, so there is not a set date for re­pairs.

“We’re work­ing with our city engi­neer and East­lake’s engi­neer and com­ing up with a so­lu­tion to the prob­lem,” Bock said. “We’re in the process of talk­ing to con­trac­tors... to see what their rec­om­men­da­tions are and then we’ll go from there.”

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