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Winchester, KY to use new sewer line technology

By CATHY GILKEY/Sun Staff Writer

When a sanitary sewer line failed in front of Colby Station, Winchester Municipal Utilities Co. officials feared the worst, but there may be a silver lining in the wake of the break.

The WMU commission approved using new technology in the more than 2,500 feet of sanitary sewer line that needs to be repaired following the collapse of the line in front of Colby Station in February.

Instead of ripping of more than a mile of sanitary sewer line along the Bypass, causing major traffic disruptions, the utility is hiring an Indianapolis company to install a liner inside the old pipe. The liner then hardens to a smooth substance that will support the failing pipeline, explained WMU general manager Vernon Azevedo.

“The advantage is minimal disruption,” he said. “We don't have to dig up the Wal-Mart parking lot and along the Bypass.”

The other big advantage is a cost factor, he said. It generally costs about $110 per foot to replace an entire section of pipe, but this contract, with Insituform Technologies Inc., will cost $80 a foot.

The liner will be put down the manholes in the area, and hot water will be shot into the lined pipes. The hot water causes the liner to harden to the walls of the existing pipe, creating a smooth, PCV-like type of pipe. The technology has been used for more than 10 years, and larger cities have utilities it for several years, Azevedo explained. It's currently being used in Lexington at Triangle and Thoroughbred parks, Louisville, Cincinnati and Nashville. Mike Flynn, director of operations and engineering, said he spoke with representatives for other cities and the technology, and the contractor, came well-recommended.

Another advantage, Chairman Dexter Noble pointed out, was the seal would prevent inflow and infiltration, a problem that has plagued WMU since the utility started treating sewage. Inflow and infiltration is rainwater and other runoff that ends up in the sanitary sewer system through holes and line crossings.