SIOUX FALLS, SD -
Nearly a month after a sewer pipe collapsed in Sioux Falls, crews are getting closer to permanently fixing the problem. More than 800 feet of new sewer pipe is being pushed into the old pipe, and it's turning out to be a quicker fix than officials had expected.
Anyone who lives in Sioux Falls remembers a month ago when the sewer pipe by the penitentiary collapsed sending sewage into dozens of basements, and forcing the city to ask residents to stop using water.
Temporary pipes running down Sioux Falls streets is what people have been seeing for the last few weeks as crews work on a fix. But, what many aren't seeing is how the sewer system is being fixed, because that's happening 25 feet underground.
"It is a very proven method around the country, but it's one of the first times we've used it here," Assistant Sioux Falls Engineer Shannon VerHey said.
A crew from Minneapolis is connecting hundreds of ten foot sections of new sewer pipe together, and then using special equipment to push it into the broken pipe.
"Once they get the pipe clean and make sure there's no collapsed sections or anything like that left they were able to start pushing the pipe, and they do that ten feet at a time and they're able to get several hundred feet a day," VerHey said.
City officials had hoped to have the project done by the middle of October, but right now the contractor is two weeks ahead of schedule. The project is moving so quickly that city officials hope to have the new pipe pushed into the old pipe by Tuesday, and have the entire project done by the end of the month. And that will save the city money.
"We're having to pay a contractor money to do the by-pass pumping, so that would save the city money," VerHey said.
Because right now the city is paying $35,000 a week to run the temporary system. That's why the sooner the pipe can be installed the better it will be for the sewer system and the city's pocketbook.
Sewer Pipe Collapse Timeline
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