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Sewage leaks persist after upgrade to pump station

SoVaNow.com / August 06, 2014
Since the town of Clarksville installed a new sewer pump station at the intersection of Virginia Avenue and Highway 15 South, residents whose sewer lines connect to the pump station have complained of sewage leaking from manholes.

The most recent incident occurred July 27 when, according to town estimates, about 30 to 50 gallons of wastewater and raw sewage spilled out of a manhole on Fifth Street.

Dr. Susan Hundley, whose house is near site of the discharging manhole, told of sludge shooting up through the manhole cover for a short period before stopping and starting again. She immediately called Walter Terry with the town operation’s division. He spread lime over the discharge stream to quell the stench.

Town Manager Jeff Jones acknowledged, “the manhole near Dr. [Susan] Hundley [house] did have a problem on Sunday, July 27. The air relief valve was leaking.” This valve was installed earlier this year, part of the Kinderton Sewer Project — a $750,000 sewer line extension and upgrade for the Kinderton Technology Park, funded with monies from the Virginia Tobacco Commission, the county and the Town of Clarksville.

Jones said, “This is the second time this valve has had a problem.” The first time a problem was detected, a major rainstorm in May dropped at least 5 inches of water on the town in four hours’ time.

The excess storm water overwhelmed the town’s water treatment plant, causing sewage water to back up into homes on Commerce and Fifth Streets.

After that first incident, the town hired engineering firm Dewberry to examine the sewer system to prevent future reoccurrences. That first issue was corrected by contractor J. Harman Saunders, who was the general contractor for the Kinderton Sewer Project, but Jones said “the valve has experienced another issue.

The faulty valve is still under warranty, so now “the contractor has agreed to replace the valve,” he said. The manhole was recently “pumped off in a sewer truck for proper disposal and to disable the valve for replacement.”

Jones did not speculate as to how quickly the replacement and repair would occur, but noted that the town’s operations staff treated the area with lime and reported the discharge to the proper state agencies.

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