By Kim Lewicki, Highlands Newspaper
Photos by Brian O’Shea, Plateau Daily News
On the afternoon of Wednesday, Feb. 8, a breach of a main sewer line occurred on the Franklin Road (US 64 west) near Mirror Lake Road.
“The water/sewer department noticed it Wednesday afternoon,” said Public Works Director Lamar Nix. “Work started on repairing it immediately.”
Motorists traveling the route were detoured to one-lane so workers could make repairs safely.
Once the repair was made, the line was put back in service, but it started leaking in another location down the line.
“It was repaired again, only to have another leak show up a few feet away,” said Nix. “At that point, we determined that approximately 200 feet of line needed to be replaced.”
Stillwell Enterprises, experts in the field, and town crews worked through the night and into Friday afternoon until it was determined that the line was operational.
A substantial section of the 29-year-old sewer pipe had failed due to deterioration which caused the breaks, said Nix.
Crews made permanent repairs using materials the town had on hand – 12-inch Ductile Iron Pipe, which is the same as the original pipe.
“We are preparing a study of the line to determine if any other areas need to be replaced,” said Nix. “We are also considering other materials for longer range alternatives.”
About 10,000 gallons of sewage from the failed pipe entered a portion of Mirror Lake.
“However, this did not impact the water treatment plant because there are options for water intake,” said Nix. “In addition, water sampling began immediately upstream and downstream of the leak per requirements.”
Following protocols, Nix notified the state and state officials will monitor the system.
“The town water system has not been compromised, nevertheless water plant operators will conduct ongoing water tests in order to assure high quality service continues,” said Nix.
Pictured at the top of the article are workers who started to repair the line as soon as the W/S dept. noticed it on Wednesday of last week.