Almost one month ago, we reported that a large section of sewage piping in Reading, Pennsylvania, had sprung a leak for the second time in three years. Well now the City of Reading Public Works is deciding whether to solve the problem for good, by potentially replacing a massive 600-foot of pipe that runs alongside the Schuylkill River. The pipe in question is almost 60 years old and officials are worried that it could be damaged further if it is not replaced.
Work is already underway to carry out repairs on the pipe, while the decision of whether to replace the long stretch of pipe is being made. According to the Reading Eagle, the sewage was only shut off once the 42-inch pipe had been unearthed. This meant that when the crew involved with carrying out the repairs did begin to divert the sewage, they had already stopped about 4 million gallons of sewage from entering the river. Despite this, a considerable amount of raw sewage had still entered the river when the leaks were first sprung.
Residents are understandably angry about the leaks, particularly because of the large amounts of sewage that has entered the river. City officials were quick to reassure residents that the local water treatment works were aware of the leak, and so there would be no chance of contamination to their drinking water.
However, Carl Geffken, city managing director, admitted that the problem could not continue for much longer. Speaking about the cost for any potential project, he said: “It comes from the rate payers and from the municipalities, the rate payers from within the city of Reading and the municipalities for whom we charge to transport and then treat their sewage. We have over $20 million in that account.” If work does go ahead, it is expected to start in spring of 2012.
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