Chesterton Tribune

15th St. from Broadway to Porter closed after sewer fails

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A 30-inch concrete sanitary sewer line serving pretty much all of Chesterton west of 15th Street—and the Porter Cove subdivision as well—has failed.

Town Engineer Mark O’Dell told the Chesterton Tribune today that a collections crew, responding to a pair of reports late Thursday of sewage backups, discovered a blockage in the line along West Morgan Ave. between 15th and 14th streets.

Woodruff & Sons of Michigan City was on the scene this morning—on an emergency basis—saw-cutting the road in preparation for excavation, O’Dell said.

It’ll be a deep dig, Street Commissioner John Schnadenberg said: 15 feet.

In the meantime, however, motorists accustomed to using 15th Street will have to find an alternate route, as 15th Street between Broadway and West Porter Ave. has been closed to through-traffic for the duration, Schnadenberg said. Residents and businesses in the affected area will still have access.

O’Dell was hopeful that that the repair could be completed in three to four days.

Although unable immediately to say how old the 30-inch line is, O’Dell is assuming the cause of the failure to be the deterioration of the concrete pipe over time by hydrogen sulfide, otherwise known as sewer gas, produced by the breakdown of human waste.

The 30-inch line is an important one, Schnadenberg said, “as everything from the west converges” on it to flow east to the 48-inch monster line running down Eighth Street and then to the wastewater treatment plant.

A vacuum truck has been on the scene “continuously pumping around the area” to keep the flow from the west moving smoothly, Schnadenberg added.


Posted 10/21/2011