Osage to Repair Its Sewer System Using Trenchless Pipe Replacement

Last month, city officials in Osage, Iowa approved of a plan to repair thousands of feet of sewer lines over a series of stages.

The Globe Gazelle reports that the city will be going forward with a plan to repair the pipes, after months of investigation into the sewer system. Starting in 2016, the city will replace the existing pipes in consecutive phases. Each phase is expected to cost approximately $1.2 million.

The pipes in Osage were installed nearly a century ago, according to the city’s public works director, Jerry Dunlay. He also said the pipes were inspected last year by inserting cameras into them. The inspection crews found most of the pipes were deteriorating — mostly due to tree root and groundwater infusion — and are in need of replacement.

City crews plan on using trenchless drain repair method for replacement. The trenchless method involves inserting resin-based tubes into the existing pipes and expanding them once they are fully inserted. The cured-in-place pipe (CIPP) effectively replaces the pipe without actually removing it. This method is popular for its relative quickness, its minimal invasiveness, and its ability to be performed without major disruption of services.

To help pay for the projects, the city will seek $600,000 in block grants for each phase. The remaining costs will be paid using sewer fund reserves and bonds. City officials have not said whether they will raise taxes to help pay for the repair work.

In all, the phases will require laying about 60,000 lineal feet of piping. The work itself will be done in manholes at road intersections. Each phase will consist of a major restoration project as well as several “spot” repairs along the way. Although the main phases will commence next year, about six spot repairs will be done this summer due to urgency, according to Dunlay.

Trenchless drain repair is a relatively recent innovation, having been available for residential homes for only 10 to 15 years.

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