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Sewer Line Replacement Coming for Jenkins Ave.

A pipe between Broad and Chestnut streets on Jenkins Avenue is too small to handle sanitary sewage flow. Lansdale Public Works has to determine when replacement work can start on the pipe

A sanitary sewer pipe on Jenkins Avenue, between Chestnut and Line streets, is too small and the cause of sewage backups and has to go.

Last year, a resident at the corner of Jenkins Avenue and Chestnut Street came to the public works committee to notify the borough that he was getting sewage pushed back up into his yard because of infiltration and high flow, according to public works committee chair Denton Burnell.

"There was so much water traveling through that area," Burnell said.

The borough commissioned borough engineer Remington, Vernick and Beach to do a flow study in the area.

"The long and short of it is, it looks like the line into Jenkins Avenue from Chestnut Street to Broad Street is, based on their calculations, undersized and probably is going to have to be replaced," said borough utilities director Jake Ziegler.

Ziegler said the pipe is about 15 inches now, and needs to be around 18 inches in diameter.

He said the project should be put on the capital list for public works for the 2013 budget.

Borough engineer Chris Fazio said the borough can remedy the infiltration and inflow issues of the entire borough, but it doesn't change the fact that more capacity is needed in the line.

"One way (to fix it) is to make the line bigger. Another way is to reroute flows, to bypass the area, and you will be at capacity instead of over capacity. I would say you have to look at costs, and at the most cheapest solution, and that is to make the line bigger," Fazio said.

"Any way you look at it, it's not a cheap solution," he said. "You're doing excavation, you're doing pipe installation, there's no quick and easy way to get it done. It's a sizable construction project."

The decision the committee needs to make now is when to do the project and whether or not to replace the one-block section or the entire length of Jenkins Avenue.

Ziegler said the actual construction would start at Chestnut Street. There are series of lines coming together at convergence at Jenkins and Chestnut, he said, including a storm sewer lines that crosses Jenkins on the other side of Chestnut Street.

"I don't think we figured it out yet," said Ziegler regarding how much of the pipe to replace. "We may decide to do more of it."

Knowing Lansdale Borough, it wants to do it right and do it right once.

Committee member Mike Sobel asked if once the line is replaced on the block, will everything flow from Line Street on down.

Fazio said if the borough replaces the pipe in the one block, it will fix the problem.

"One thing we recommend is you tackle your inflow and infiltration. It doesn't get better, it gets worse. The problem here might escalate somewhere in future."

Ziegler said the sewer line on Jenkins Avenue is connected to a pumping station at Pennbrook Avenue. 

"In effect, that line, at some point in time, carries a lot of flow from as far as Knapp Road, all the way down to Pennbrook Avenue and Cherry Street, and the area by the ," Ziegler said.

Committee member Jack Hansen said the project needs to be done for the health and welfare of residents.

"Remington, Vernick and Beach said we need to continue to be very diligent about any time we can address infiltration problems," Burnell said.

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