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Cold snap throws HSCA for loss / February 19, 2018
January’s freezing temperatures did a number on brittle water lines — and on the Halifax County Service Authority’s maintenance budget.

The cost to repair damaged lines from the frigid winter weather came in just shy of $30,000, HCSA executive director Mark Estes told authority directors at their monthly board meeting on Thursday.

Estes said the HCSA lost more than 9 million gallons of water due to broken lines when temperatures plunged into the single digits for several days in mid-January.

HCSA employees put in 329 hours of overtime to repair and replace the broken lines. Leaks were discovered in 21 water mains, with many smaller water lines also developing cracks and breaks.

Employee overtime costs to repair the broken lines added up to $7,077.22, Estes said.

Materials and supplies cost another $5,107.16.

The biggest single expense came when HCSA contracted with J. Harman Saunders to perform repairs to a line underneath the Tucker Watkins Bridge at the foot of downtown South Boston. An eight-inch water line shifted, causing water to spill into the roadway and flood it. A malfunctioning valve had to be replaced to correct the problem.

The cost of the repair contract with the construction company was $16,797.96.

Estes said many of the leaks sprung from old cast iron lines that he hopes to have replaced in the future.

Estes also advised the HCSA board that a contract for work on the Cowford Wastewater Treatment Plant has been awarded to H. G. Reynolds Company of Henderson, N.C., with J. Harman Saunders serving as the subcontractor. The job calls for adding 20,090 linear feet of force main to connect to the wastewater treatment plant. The line will cross over five creeks.

The Halifax treatment plant will then be converted to a pumping station which will allow for greater capacity as needed. The project is expected to take 730 days to complete.

The other bid, for the Sutphin Road Interceptor Project, was awarded to C. W. Cauley & Son of Patrick Springs. The project involves laying 13,000 new linear feet of gravity sewer lines across ten streams. The project also calls for the abandonment of existing sewer lines and manholes.

With both chairman Dexter Gilliam and vice chairman Stewart Nelson absent from the Thursday meeting, Kathy Bane was tapped by fellow board members to serve as the interim board chairman to conduct the business of the meeting.

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