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Brookhaven to consider rehab of sewers

An engineer for Brookhaven is recommending a rehab of sewer lines in several areas of the city.

“You guys have an old system. Every time it rains, you get rainwater in the system,” Mike McKenzie of WGK Engineers told aldermen recently.

On a dry day, 1.5 million gallons flow through the Brookhaven Waste Water Treatment Plant. On a rainy day, it’s twice that.

“When it rains, you double your treatment cost,” he said.

The solution is to rehab and fix as many lines as possible throughout the city, he said.

“That’s the end game,” he said.

McKenzie said several areas have already been identified as faulty through the use of video cameras and smoke tests.

He suggested the board look into a major sewer line rehab when the sewer project in Brignal is complete.

McKenzie told aldermen about about a sewer problem on West Meadowbrook Drive that has been fixed, but not solved.

A permanent fix will cost the city about $85,000.

McKenzie said until August — when contractors put a temporary fix on the leak — homeowner Steve Brown had flooding at his property every time it rained.

Brown has “suffered the brunt of it for all these years,” McKenzie said. “Practically any time it would rain, it would back up, and his house would be unusable. When it started raining, he was not able to flush or run water in any way.”

McKenzie said the 12-inch sewer line filled with roots. Only about an inch of water was able to flow through it.

“Everything else was solid roots,” he said.

Crews cleaned the line in August.

“We knew the day we left, the roots went right back to work growing back in there, so we knew it was a temporary solution,” he said.

Brown called recently to say he’s had a backup again.

“We know we need to go in there and fix this once and for all,” McKenzie said.

He said the best solution is to cut out that section of pipe and replace it. Then they’ll line the pipe to stop the roots from coming back.

He said the PVC liner “is like taking a sock inside out and inverting it into the pipe. They run hot water into it and cures it and make it hard, and now your sewer line has a brand new, slick inpenetratable lining inside. It stops the roots’ ability from going in there.”

He anticipates the project will include 1,600 feet of line.

“We’d start in his backyard basically, come out to the street run all the way down the street up the hill turn and go through the woods out to the edge of Hwy. 550,” he said.

However, fixing the problem for Brown and others in Meadowbrook is not the ultimate solution.

“This fixing I’m talking about (at Meadowbrook) is just a small segment. It’s just a drop in the bucket,” he said. “We’ve got to start talking about and looking at rehabbing some part of town to cut down on these flows.”

The board voted unanimously to approve the repairs to the Meadowbrook lines.

Traffic problems

Brookhaven Police Chief Kenneth Collins told aldermen he’s been asked by residents in several areas to do something about the traffic problems in their neighborhoods.

He asked aldermen to consider putting stop signs on West Minnesota Street at Byrd Street, making it a three-way stop. Currently, there is a stop sign only at Byrd, which ends at West Minnesota.

“I went out and looked at it. I don’t have a problem with it,” he said. “I know when they kept calling I monitored it. They have speeders coming down through there but I don’t know if that would be the solution or not.”

Public Works Director Keith Lewis suggested the board look at it a little more before voting.

Aldermen decided to study the issue further before taking a vote to change the traffic stop.

Collins said he wants to place no parking signs on Avalon Street to prevent cars from blocking other traffic.

He said homeowners have complained about people blocking the street and disturbing the peace with loud noise at night.

“I’ve had several citizens come to me about that so we’re going to take care of that also,” he said.