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SF Officials Fast-Track Water Main Fix

October 17, 2011, 4:59 PM by Ben Dunsmoor

SF Officials Fast-Track Water Main Fix
SIOUX FALLS, SD - Sioux Falls city crews are hoping a new pipe now will prevent problems this winter.

A neighborhood near 53rd Street and Sertoma Avenue has seen five water main breaks since this spring. But construction crews are getting ready to pave over the problem that's plagued this southwestern Sioux Falls Street all summer.

"Every time it broke, the water was down for pretty much the whole day," 53rd Street homeowner Todd Jensen said.

For the past ten days, crews have been putting in a new water main right down 53rd Street. The old line broke so many times this summer because it didn't have a covering to protect it from the corrosive soil in this part of the city.

"You see some surface erosion on the pipe itself and you also see some of the bolts that hold the piping system together are pretty corroded," Jeff Dunn with the Sioux Falls Engineering Department said.

Dunn says they planned to do the replacement project next year, but when the pipe broke for a fifth time in September, they decided to get the project going immediately.

"We decided that it was in the best interest of the rate-payers to get out here as quickly as possible," Dunn said.

City officials say the new pipe they're putting in is PVC pipe and should withstand the corrosive soils underneath the street.

"It's extremely resistant to this type of corrosion activity in the soil," Dunn said.

And that has residents in the neighborhood looking forward to a steady source of water that shouldn't have any more problems this winter.

"It's nice to get it done now before winter hits and they have more problems during the winter," Jensen said.

Officials say it's also better to get the pipe fixed now so city workers won't face the tough task of getting called out in the middle of the night to fix another water main break this winter.

Click on the thumbnails below to see larger images of the damaged pipes.

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