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Village of Allouez saddled with sewer costs

By Rich Palzewic
Staff Writer

ALLOUEZ – At its Aug. 17 meeting, the Allouez village board heard from Public Works Director Sean Gehin about repairs needed to the sewer system on Webster Avenue.

“On May 26, the village was notified by the owner at 2591 Webster Ave. in regards to a backed-up sanitary line,” Gehin said. “In the process of checking the area out, we found a sanitary sewer pipe was gone. We got a camera into the sanitary sewer and found a hole in our system. The next day, we made an emergency repair with a contractor to replace that segment of pipe.”

He said another recent look at the area resulted in another discovered hole.

“That hole was also repaired, but we’ve found additional pipe loss, deteriorated pipe and cracking,” Gehin said. “Because of the frail condition of the pipes, we want to line it. We’ve received a proposal for about 500 feet of repair, and that will cost about $25,000.”

He said the village has the money in the sanitary sewer budget, but it doesn’t want to use those funds, if possible.

“I’d like to use ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) funding to pay for it,” Gehin said.

The board voted to complete 500 feet of repairs utilizing ARPA funds.

At the board’s direction, Gehin will also put together a request for proposals to survey the rest of the system.

“We’d also like to do more camera work to see if there are more repairs needed,” he said. “The cost to do that would be about $90,000. We can argue this is an emergency, so we could get a contract bid out soon. I want to do this to make sure we don’t have any more problems along Webster Avenue.”

Gehin said he believes the $90,000 needed to check the rest of Webster would be money well spent.

“Repairing the sanitary sewer system underneath Webster Avenue is a challenge,” he said. “We want to make sure the scope of the repair. I don’t disagree the money could be spent on the actual repairs, but spot repairs will probably have to be made (before major work would begin). I’d like a better look at it first.”

He said some sanitary sewer pipes in the Green Bay area were put in during the late 1960s, or possibly some were even installed in the ‘30s.

Gehin said he doesn’t know how long the holes were in the pipes, but the condition of the pipes was not good.

“They’re corroded and severely deteriorated,” he said. “That’s concrete pipe and granular in nature. Hydrogen sulfide gas comes off wastewater and eats away at those pipes. I’m not sure if the recent heavy rains had anything to do with it, but we couldn’t even find the pipe – it was completely washed away somewhere.”

Gehin said the total amount of pipes to be looked at equals about 2 1/2 miles.

“That comes to about 26,000 feet of sanitary and storm sewer pipe we need to look at,” he said. “We don’t have the capability to do that with the camera we have.”

Editor’s note: To read another story on the Village of Allouez, CLICK HERE.

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