BREMERTON: For aging sewer line, a colon cleanse of sortsAugust 23rd, 2013 by josh farley
Josh Farley writes:
In many ways, cities are living, breathing organisms, at least metaphorically speaking. And if you follow this line of thinking, you could also say workers with the Public Works and Utilities Department have been performing a metaphorical colon cleanse.
A sewer line, buried in the beach that runs from Bremerton’s boardwalk downtown all the way to a pump station at Evergreen Park, isn’t getting any younger. The cast iron pipe was installed in 1972 and is starting to clog, either due to solids building up inside or from internal corrosion (or both).
So Bremerton’s sewer maintenance crews spent this past week on the beach (pictured) digging up the pipe at low tide, drilling a hole in it to “jet the line,” a process that is basically flushing it with water to try and clear it out.
You may recall that this is the same line that city officials had planned to run underneath a proposed boardwalk between the downtown waterfront and Evergreen Rotary Park, but one that stalled due to perceived fishing rights violations from the Suquamish Tribe.
With the boardwalk project stalled, the city has been looking for new ways to not only replace the line, but remove it off the beach entirely. Putting sewer lines on the beach has been cost effective in the past because gravity can run its course to the beach from the homes up above. Instead, the city now plans to install so-called “grinder” pumps that will take sewage up ground, underneath area streets instead, ultimately taking it to the sewer treatment plant in the West Hills area next to Highway 3.
The city hopes to make the beach pipe obsolete in 2015 with the use of the grinder pumps. In the meantime, I told Bremerton Public Works Director Chal Martin that this kind of metaphorical colon cleansing will have to do.
“That’s funny,” he replied. “And correct.”