Conneaut Ave. Water Main Replacement – The “Why” Behind The Work

As the Conneaut Avenue water main replacement project comes to an end, residents likely are asking themselves – “What took so long?” and “Why did the City do this?”  These are logical questions and frustrations about this project are understandable.

Why did the water main line have to be replaced?

The old water main on Conneaut was installed in the 1970’s. The original service connections used to tap the water main and provide water to the homes were made of cast iron.  The cast iron material was found to be deteriorating due to corrosive soils.  Crews first attempted to maintain the existing water main and replace the service connections.  Due to the age and condition of the water main pipe, fixing the service connections proved impossible.  Re-paving of Conneaut Avenue is planned to occur in 2017 and because of the on-going problems with the service connections, finding a long term solution to the service line connections made the most sense – this led to the only remaining option which was to replace the water main.  The City did not want to repave the road knowing the old water service connections would need to be addressed in the next few years and damage the new pavement.

Why did the replacement take so long?

Overall, the replacement of the water main itself was in line with the anticipated schedule. The project experienced significant delays due to defective service saddles from two different manufacturers.  The saddle is the part used to connect a service line to the water main.  City crews worked with representatives from each supplier and manufacturer to verify and address this deficiency – largely accounting for the project delays.  Now that a solution has been found, crews have been able to continue to replace service lines.  This work is anticipated to last until the first week of July.  Crews will complete all of the work associated with the service saddles prior to the start of the paving project.

Why do I keep getting Boil Advisories?

According to the Ohio EPA, anytime the pressure in the water main drops below 20 psi, a Boil Advisory must be issued for the affected area. Likewise, individual Boil Advisories are issued when service line work is performed, such as connecting a residence to the new water main.  Because of the faulty service saddles mentioned previously, the City had to reconnect the service lines to the same house multiple times.

When will Conneaut be repaved?

A contract to repave Conneaut has already been signed with Shelly Company. Pavement work on Conneaut is scheduled to begin July, 2017.

When Conneaut is repaved in July, approximately 800 feet of Conneaut Ave (near Lafayette and Tamarac) will not be repaved due to an anticipated Sanitary Sewer project that will be constructed in the near future. The water main trench in this area will be temporarily repaired with asphalt during the paving project – likely occurring first – so that between the paving project and the sanitary sewer work, the road is easier to travel.  This portion of Conneaut will be permanently repaved after the sewer project is completed.

The stone trench that currently exists will be maintained until the paving repairs are made as part of the paving project. The trench will be monitored daily for needed maintenance.  If you experience any problems, please call the Water Distribution Division at 419-354-6277.

What is involved with the sewer project?  

The current sanitary sewer pump station is undersized to serve the area, lacks adequate wet well storage volume, and the current location cannot be expanded. Under emergency high flow conditions, these factors have caused the City to “bypass pump” the sanitary sewer to a storm sewer in order to prevent sewer backups into homes.  The project will relocate the sanitary sewer pump station that is west of Lafayette to a new location east of Tamarac.  This project will require the installation of approximately 800 feet of gravity sanitary sewer on Conneaut from the existing pump station to the new pump station.  Also, a new sanitary force main will be installed from the new pump station to Haskins Rd.

The City understands this amount of construction in one area can be frustrating; however, addressing underground infrastructure problems prior to paving work is essential to minimize future concerns and issues.

The public’s patience during these projects is sincerely appreciated. As work continues, the public is asked to remain patient and to observe all posted construction signs, which are there for the safety of everyone.

A public forum has been scheduled on June 8 from 4:00 – 6:00 pm in the Banquet Room of the Simpson Building, 1291 Conneaut Avenue for residents. A mockup waterline with saddle will be there for residents to view and staff will be present to answer questions.