The Block Island Times

Sewer personnel patch 35-year old hole in pipe on Ocean Avenue

By Stephanie Turaj | May 07, 2013
Courtesy of: The Sewer Department A construction crew working on Ocean Avenue last week made an unexpected discovery — a hole in the sewer pipe that may have been 35 years old. The hole was later repaired under the supervision of town engineer Jim Geremia.

A 35-year old hole in an Ocean Avenue sewer pipe has been fixed.
On Thursday, April 25, a construction crew was installing new storm drains on Ocean Avenue when crew member Joe Sprague came across a surprise — a hole in the sewer pipe.

Sewer Superintendent Chris Blane said that black soil around the pipe meant that the pipe may have been leaking at some point. “We don’t know if it’s been leaking, that would be speculation,” said Blane. The pipe is installed right underneath the storm drains, which flush into the Great Salt Pond.

“This damage was probably done when paving roads in 1978,” said Blane, who explained that no work to this area of the road been performed since then.
The pipe, part of the sewer gravity line that runs from Beach Avenue to Bridgegate Square, had a gauge with damage marks that Blane described as being similar to “marks from a backhoe bucket.” The damage had been covered over with concrete, so a video inspection to the sewer line had not revealed the hole.

The broken pipe was repaired by 1:45 p.m. the day it was discovered by installing an 18-inch wide steel band clamp around the hole. Town Engineer Jim Geremia had given approval to the project and supervised the repairs, said Blane.

“It was a good resolution to something we didn’t expect,” said Blane. “It’s a good thing we found that pipe now when there was very little flow. We were very lucky.”

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