Old work problem for water dept.

Department tracking loose piece in water main


CLINTON — The water department has found itself trying to correct a problem caused by work performed by a contractor years ago.  Commissioner John Wise gave the city council a survey of the problem during its Monday meeting.

When the city well located behind the YMCA was installed several years ago, a piece known as a “coupon” remained in the main following the procedure to drill a tap into the line.

“The company knew they did it,” Wise said.  

Wise said the letter, which is on file with city attorney Steve Myers, offered a remedy if the piece ever got loose and caused a problem.

“Well, it hasn’t in all these years,” Wise said.  “But, just in the last week and a half we had an issue with the water quantity being cut down drastically.”

Wise said the coupon had moved and gotten somewhere between where the line was originally tapped and the water plant.

“They finally isolated it to just outside the plant where the valves and stuff are,” he said.

Plant staff adjusted some valves so that the coupon would stop moving and rest at the bottom of the main.

Wise said if the piece were to move again, it could potentially restrict flow enough to cause a problem if the fire department needed a large volume of water to fight a fire.

The water department has enlisted the help of Bodine to locate the loose piece and remove it as soon as possible.

“They’re looking at what we need to do to get that piece out of there and be done with it once and for all,” Wise said.

Myers is working to locate the original contractor.

“We assume that people do as they say and that everybody is still in business,” Myers said.  “But, you always have that risk of that changing in this period of time.”

Myers said it seemed to be a problem that needed to be remedied right away, “even if, down the line, we have trouble with the insurance company of the original subcontractor.”