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Contract to fix, replace old pipes to be awarded

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A contract is to be awarded this week for a project designed to keep sewage out of local rivers and streams.

The Greenville City Council is scheduled to approve a $784,000 contract with PC Contractors LLC of Fort Worth for the first phase of the Inflow and Infiltration Improvements program, with the vote included under Tuesday’s regular agenda, starting at 6 p.m. in the Municipal Building, 2821 Washington Street. A work session is also set for 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Bids were opened last month on the project to help upgrade old sewer lines.

The city’s wastewater reclamation center was built to treat up to six million gallons of wastewater a day. Two holding tanks at the center are able to contain up to 50 million gallons of wastewater awaiting treatment.

However, when there is a heavy rain, there is more wastewater in the system than can be contained, causing overflows from manholes and bypasses at the wastewater treatment plant, resulting in the sewage leaking into the Cowleech Fork of the Sabine River.

In March 2013 the wastewater plant experienced peak flows that exceeded the capacity of the new pumping facilities and resulted in flooding of one of the buildings at the plant.

In May of last year, the council voted to approve a budget amendment to pay Freese and Nichols a total of $137,900 to conduct an I&I study, which identified old, clay pipes and obsolete manhole covers, especially in the north sections of Greenville, are contributing to the problem.

The area around Interstate 30 and the Sabine River, and the region where the Sabine River flows under Highway 67/Lee Street, have seen occasional backups and overflow during periods of heavy rain.

The study indicated the work to address the problems in the north part of town will involve the replacement of clay pipe with PVC pipe, as well as the replacement of several manholes and additional updates to the wastewater treatment plant. The work is expected to take about six to nine months.

While the bid from PC Contractors won’t fix all of the problems in the north part of Greenville, City Manager Massoud Ebrahim is recommending the council award the company the contract, as the work will address and correct as much of the I&I situation as immediately possible under the budget.

Once the problems in the northern sector are corrected, studies will be done in the southern and western sectors of the city.