Finance committee OKs $189K sanitary sewer project in central Amherst

By Jason Hawk -

A $189,000 sewer project will take aim at leaking sewer pipes in central Amherst, where residents have struggled for years with backups.

City council’s finance committee gave a nod Monday to relining of main sanitary sewers and laterals along Lincoln Street and Sipple Avenue.

The project will target roughly 2,000 linear feet of old clay pipe that has cracked over the years, allowing rain water in. When that happens, the seepage overwhelms the system.

Camera scoping of the sewers have found roots in lateral and mainline joints, leaks, sags, mineral deposits, cracks, and poor lateral connections to the main.

Aaron Appell of Bramhall Engineering said the project is similar to others he’s overseen in Amherst. A plastic liner will be infused into the existing clay of the main sewer, installed from manhole to manhole along the two streets.

“The plan is to get this out for bid yet this year and get it done by the end of the year,” he told the finance committee.

During construction there won’t be any out-of-the-normal restrictions on water use for residents in the area.

Crews are expected to take advantage of warmer-than-average temperatures through December. Appell said they’ll have to stop only for storms and extreme cold.

Third ward rep Chuck Winiarski thanked Appell.

“There was a stretch of time you’d drive down the road and see people’s carpet brought up from the basement,” he said.

Notable flooding came about in three “100-year” storms in 2011, which resulted in at least 200 basements filled with human waste and rainwater.

Much of Amherst’s flooding woes have seemingly been solved with construction of the Mill Street interceptor in 2013. It runs through the downtown area from east to west, collecting excess storm runoff and dumping it into Beaver Creek behind city hall.

Council will still need to vote on the Lincoln-Sipple project in full session before it is formally approved.

Jason Hawk can be reached at 440-988-2801 or @EditorHawk on Twitter.

By Jason Hawk