MOUNT VERNON — The 27-inch sanitary sewer line that was washed out by high water in Delano Run this week has been reattached and reburied, but emergency measures are still in place to prevent the line from popping up again if there is more high water.
Utilities Director Mathias Orndorf and City Engineer Brian Ball explained that the stream had eroded to the point of exposing the pipe, which serves the Industrial Park area. When the pipe was underwater, air in the pipe caused it to lift up, separating the 14-foot pipe sections.
The problem was in the section of Delano Run between the Glen Road bridge and the Martinsburg Road bridge and is not visible from either road.
Orndorf said he was notified of the problem about 4 p.m. Tuesday. Neighbors who saw the problem notified Mount Vernon Nazarene University, which then called Orndorf.
Layton Excavating was hired to repair the breach, but they had to build a temporary road to the site and also had to divert the creek. A temporary connection to keep the sewer functioning was laid around the breech. Only about 1,000 gallons of sewage was released.
Ball said the buckets of the backhoe and track hoe used on the repair project were left in position on top of the earth filling over the reconnected sewer line to prevent the line from popping up again if high water returns.
Permanent bank repairs using rip-rap and concrete will be made after Christmas.
Ball and Orndorf said another area on the same stretch of creek was also found to have eroded a bank dangerously close to another section of the sewer line. That section of creek bank will be shored up at the same time to prevent future problems.