ST. CLOUD, Minn. (AP) — Some of St. Cloud's sewer pipe is being replaced because it's so weak it can be scraped apart with a putty knife.
"We have had failures in the past and we're preventing future emergency failures," Assistant Public Utilities Director Tracy Hodel told the St. Cloud Times (http://on.sctimes.com/1aiWpFC ).
The $5.14 million project is to replace pipe serving St. Cloud, Sartell, St. Joseph and Waite Park.
Workers are using a crane that is just one of two in the country. It has a vacuum used to pick up and lower pipe into a 30-foot-deep pit. A crew member operates it by remote control to push 54-inch fiberglass pipes into the existing 60-inch concrete pipes.
The fiberglass is smoother than the concrete. So despite the size difference, the flow of wastewater will actually improve, Assistant Public Works Director Tracy Hodel said.
The work is done while wastewater continues to flow through the pipes, meaning a bypass does not need to be built. Six million gallons of wastewater flow through the area every day, Hodel said.
It's the fourth and final phase of repairing the sewer interceptor system, which feeds water into the Wastewater Treatment Plant.
The project should be done by the end of March. The cold has delayed the project.
Information from: St. Cloud Times, http://www.sctimes.com