Cable laid too close to sewer line

Fri, 09/23/2016 - 1:00pm

The Water and Sewer Commissions are notifying Deepwater Wind that the installation of its electric ductbank is too close to their water and sewer mains along Beach Avenue. There is no need to correct the issue at this point, but the Commissions wanted to ensure that Deepwater Wind was aware of the situation because it could cause longer-term issues.

A draft letter that was discussed at the joint meeting of the Water and Sewer Commissions on Monday, Sept, 19, states that “during the installation of Deepwater Wind’s electric ductbank, your utility contractor, Lynch Construction, did not maintain the proper separation between the electric ductbank and the existing sewers as they crossed over one another. General engineering contracting practice requires that a minimal separation of 18 inches be maintained to ensure the structural integrity of each utility. The existing utility was placed within inches of the top of the sewer main. The proximity between the two utilities may have a long-term consequences for the Sewer Commission.” 

“That’s a major issue,” said Water Commission Chair Brad Marthens at the meeting.

“It is,” agreed the attorney for the Commissions, David Petrarca. 

Water Company Superintendent John Breunig suggested that the Commissions request schematics of the installation so that the positioning of water and sewer pipes and the electric ductbank is clear.

The draft letter also contains the following requests:

- With the placement of the ductbank directly over the sewer’s, if, for any reason, the sewer line needs to be replaced and upgraded, it would be National Grid’s responsibility to relocate its ductbank, at your cost, before any sewer modifications can occur.

- In the event the ductbank settles and results in the failure of the sewer line, National Grid will be responsible, not only for the placement of the sewer line, but also any environmental consequences that may result in the sewer overflows, such as Department of Environmental Management fines.

In other news, Breunig pointed out that National Grid is installing a new water main between Twin Maples on Beach Avenue and the Beach Pavilion. The installation is the result of an agreement between National Grid and the town.

Breunig said the old water main was “leaky and wasted a ton of water,” and that the new pipe is designed to last 100 years or more.