The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

September 19, 2013

High-flying Conneaut sewer pipe open for your business

CONNEAUT — At first glance, Conneaut’s new $395,000 aerial sanitary sewer reminds one of an ancient Roman aqueduct — except this architectural wonder isn’t transporting water.

It’s an imposing sight — a gleaming pipe perched high on pillars that hoists it over a valley on the southwest side of the Lake Road-Chestnut Street intersection. The 16-inch ductile iron pipe is nearly 529 feet long, said Brian Bidwell, maintenance supervisor for the city’s wastewater treatment plant. At its tallest point, the pipe stands 32 feet above the valley floor, he said.

The big pipe, a project years in the making, recently went on line following construction that began in late spring, officials said. Flow was directed into the pipe and away from its predecessor soon after hookups were successfully completed in the area of Lake Road and Chestnut Street, Bidwell said.

The line replaces another aerial pipe that had stood for decades. The pipe was given a makeover about 30 years go, but the support piers finally made it expendable. The old concrete pillars were crumbling, putting the sewer at risk of collapse, administrators have said.

“It was in very bad shape,” he said.

Several options were explored before the city decided replacement was the best choice, Bidwell said. Conneaut could not afford to lose the aerial sewer to an emergency, since it provides critical service to many of the city’s northern neighborhoods, he said. Grant money helped finance the construction project.

The old sewer was knocked down this week after its replacement was put into service, Bidwell said.

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