BREMERTON: For aging sewer line, a colon cleanse of sorts


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.”

One thought on “BREMERTON: For aging sewer line, a colon cleanse of sorts

  1. “perceived fishing rights violations” don’t continue the lie Josh. The reality was this morphed from a 10′ wide into a 28′ to 32′ wide boardwalk by ADDING the new beach main. Utility rate payers would not have only been on the hook to maintain a new sewer line that made it cheaper for developers of new condos but utility rate payers would have had to pay to maintain boardwalk. City staff and electeds blamed it on the tribes to keep the eye off the ball that our already high sewer bills could have doubled or tripled to maintain the boardwalk. Put the main upland, give the existing dwellings a break on having to install grinder pumps. New development, pay full price to install and maintain sewer pumps to upland sewer line.

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