Sewer work moves ahead

A Missouri-based company with at least 25 years of experience working in Indiana has been selected to rehabilitate sewers in Brownstown.

Insituform Technologies LLC was the lowest of four bids submitted for the project at $497,798.10.

The other bids came from Mitchell and Stark Construction Co. Inc. of Medora, $537,964.56; Layne Inliner LLC of Orleans, $537,173.70; and Miller Pipeline of Indianapolis, $586,965.09.

Brent Siebenthal, president of Wessler Engineering in Indianapolis, sought out contractors to submit bids for the project.

He said Insituform is a worldwide company that brought this type of pipeline system rehabilitation to the United States.

“I have 21, 22 years of experience working with them, so our opinion is that yes, they can complete the project,” Siebenthal said.

Now that Insituform has been awarded the project, it will provide insurance and bonds and execute the construction agreement. During its next meeting at 5:30 p.m. Feb. 21, the town council will review and sign that agreement so the project can get started.

The work is expected to begin in March and take about six months to complete. Wessler Engineering will oversee the construction process.

In July, Brownstown learned it would receive $450,000 in Wastewater Drinking Water Program grant funding from the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs for the first phase of a sanitary sewer collection system improvement project.

The town will have to come up with $300,000 in matching funds, which most likely will be done through a bond issue.

The grant will allow work to begin on Priority 1 sewer lines and manholes in Brownstown. Those were determined after Wessler Engineering performed the cleaning and video inspections of the sanitary sewer system. That included smoke testing of the sewer lines, manhole inspections and pole cam, where they looked 150 to 200 feet up into each manhole.

Brownstown Wastewater Utility workers also kept track of the cleaning they performed. Based on those logs and Wessler Engineering’s data, they came up with Priority 1, Priority 2 and Priority 3 sewer lines.

The town’s sanitary sewer system was installed in the 1950s. A lot of those sewer lines have been infiltrated with tree roots or are just old and breaking down.

Sewer and surface water have been getting into the pipes, going to the town’s wastewater treatment plant and causing problems.

Insituform’s first step will be televising all of the sewers.

“Normally, they will televise a few sewers, and then do the lining and move on to some more sewers,” Siebenthal said. “Let’s get everything televised upfront so we know exactly what’s going on. If we need to prioritize or take some of the sewers out of the project and add some of the Priority 2, we’ll do that early on.”

Specialized sliplining equipment will be used to place a resin liner through a manhole. The liner is pulled through with steam or hot water and expands and conforms to existing pipe, and it forms up like PVC pipe. To complete that work, the outside temperature has to be above freezing.

The rehabilitation of the sewer lines and manholes will limit the amount of water that’s going to the wastewater treatment plant.

Scott Hunsucker, superintendent of Brownstown Wastewater Utility, said the plant is designed to handle 670,000 gallons of normal flow and averages 450,000, but during big rain events, more than 2 million gallons flow through.

The work that will be performed is not very disruptive to residents, as homes, yards or streets aren’t torn up. But residents should experience limited service interruption during sewer work near their home, anywhere from an hour to four hours. Siebenthal said Insituform will notify residents and hand out notices to be on limited water usage.

After the first phase of the work is completed, Hunsucker said he will reevaluate the system’s flow and look into making updates and upgrades to the town’s two lift stations.

Since the town received a grant for the first phase, the second phase will not be eligible for grant funding from OCRA until seven years transpires. That could be bonded, and the town could seek grants from other sources.

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Zach Spicer is a reporter for The (Seymour) Tribune. He can be reached at zspicer@tribtown.com or 812-523-7080.