Council approves repairs to collapsed sewage line

Published 10:00am Friday, November 29, 2013

Selma may rid itself of a smelly problem soon.

The Selma City Council approved a $54,140 project to replace a collapsed sewer line near Earl Goodwin Parkway. The city will use money from a red-light camera fund.

The 400-foot section of sewer-collection pipe collapsed in a section of woods behind the mall three weeks ago. Since then, the city has rented a pump that diverts sewage around the cave-in at a cost of approximately $3,000 per month.

Engineering consultant and owner of Hogg Engineering, Ray Hogg, described the cave-in as a major collapse during Tuesday’s city council meeting.

“We are probably talking about hundreds of houses,” Hogg said. “It’s affecting everything north of the mall and east of Citizens Parkway.”

Age could be a reason for the collapse. Hogg estimated the pipe was installed in the mid 1960s, before the Selma Mall was built.

He said the city had two options — replace and fix the collapsed pipe or continue to rent the pump. If the city had decided to continue renting the pump, Hogg said the pump would have worked, but would be an unnecessary expense.

“It’s probably better to just fix it,” he said. “Renting the pump means paying for the pump and having personnel out there to make sure it is working OK.”

During the council meeting, Ward 8 councilman Michael Johnson asked if the work would include a warranty, to prevent paying for future cave-ins.

“We need to make sure the work is done correctly and we don’t have to worry about that area again,” Johnson said.

Hogg said the work would include a one-year warranty and an employee of his engineering firm would supervise the work to make sure it’s properly installed.

The council voted unanimously to approve the work.

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