In 2004, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued an order to Taunton, Massachusetts to eliminate all CSO from its water systems.
Originally the city was given a 2013 deadline, but this has since been extended.
Years ago, city managers concluded that relining aged sewer lines is far more economical than tearing out and replacing the old sewer pipes, which would increase the costs substantially.
Taunton has 155 miles of sewer lines and 34 pump stations. The project has now reached its tenth phase, which involves the lining of all major brick sewer pipes in the downtown area.
The Taunton Daily Gazette reports:
“DPW Assistant Commissioner Tony Abreau said gas line work by Columbia Gas of Massachusetts on Howard Street — a short, battered road that runs behind Taunton Green and intersects Weir Street — is “99 percent done.”
Columbia Gas replaced 1880s cast-iron pipes underneath Main Street and other downtown streets during the fall of 2013 with high-density, polyethylene plastic piping.
Coordination between utility companies like Columbia Gas, Verizon, Comcast and Taunton Municipal Lighting Plant is key to the success of the sewer-line project, according to officials.”
It’s encouraging to see a small city that is managing its sewer projects well and is nearing completion.
Infamanage.com observes that major gains in long term lifecycle asset maintenance and or renewal cost can be achieved by good multi-agency coordination of works.
This coordination takes a lot of communication, and the building and maintaining of inter-organization trust, but this effort is worth the work for the efficiency and long-term cost savings that are available.
As the Taunton example shows, it makes little sense to trench for one utility at a time, or even worse to build a road weeks before utility trenching is scheduled to occur.
Conversely, when all the required utility trenching, and asset restoration work is completed, then a new road surface constructed, citizens can see the improvement, and the logical approach to infrastructure asset management works.
PHOTO CREDIT: cmh2315fl via Flickr Creative Commons License