April 16, 2014

Elyria
Sunny
31°F
test

Elyria looks to get its pipes cleaned out

ELYRIA — In some parts of the city, fighting fires is tough: There just isn’t enough water in the city’s pipes. But City Council might give the OK to correct at least a small portion of the problem this year.
“The problem is that, over time the pipes become corroded, reducing the amount of water that can flow through them,” Assistant City Engineer John Schneider said. “It’s very expensive and very disruptive to try and dig up all of the city’s water pipes that are corroded, so we are trying to clean them out instead.”
On Monday, Council is expected to consider a $600,000 plan to clean out and line a small section of the city’s water mains, Schneider said. The project calls for a contractor to pull a cleaning instrument through the pipe that scrapes the corroded material off of the sides, Schneider said. The pipe is then lined with a cement mixture to prevent future corrosion.
The project calls for doing the pipes along four streets in the St. Jude area: Longfellow and Hawthorne streets and Beebe and Marseilles avenues — all from Poplar Street north until they dead end.  The plan also calls for cleaning and lining pipes beneath Middle Avenue from Fuller Road to South Maple Street.
“This is a starting point to tackle a real problem that the city has,” said Councilman Tom Callahan, D-at large. “The water volume problem was consistently rated as one of the most important parts of the 2015 plan, and this is a way to start the work and see if the cleaning and lining method is effective for the city.”
Members of the 2015 plan’s working groups said they were happy to see the city taking steps to improve the problem.
“The city needs to explore all of their options and I hope that this plan will work,” said Carol Gallardo, co-chair of the 2015 Neighborhood Development Group.
“We talked about the water problem a lot, and it’s important, so it’s good to see the city is taking steps to address it.”
The city has already appropriated the funding necessary for the project, and Callahan said he hopes the project will be approved Monday.
The city has about
250 miles of water pipe and Schneider estimated that as many as to 126 miles of it could be corroded. If the proposed cleaning, which will take care of just more than a mile and a half of pipe, is effective, Schneider said the city would likely use the method in other parts of the city in the coming years.
Contact Joe Medici at 329-7152 or jmedici@chroniclet.com.