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Public Works Commission recommends contractor for $18.6 million sewer line repair

$2.05 million for design to prevent big pipe from failing


The Fayetteville Public Works Commission on Wednesday unanimously recommended that the City Council award a bid to repair 4,000 feet of a 54-inch diameter sewer outfall pipe southeast of Fayetteville to ensure that the pipe doesn’t suffer a catastrophic failure.

The pipe carries western Fayetteville’s sewage to one of the PWC’s two sanitary sewage treatment plants, PWC spokeswoman Carolyn Justice-Hinson said. It runs along Rockfish Creek near Interstate 95’s Exit 44 in the Gray’s Creek area.

T.A. Loving Co. of Goldsboro has a bid of $2.05 million to do 60% of the design for a project estimated to have a total cost of $18.6 million, PWC documents say. With the PWC board’s approval on Wednesday, the bid is now being forwarded to the Fayetteville City Council for final approval. The city of Fayetteville owns PWC.

The 48-year-old pipe, which has a 6-inch thick reinforced concrete wall, is not in imminent danger of failing, said Mick Noland, the PWC’s chief operations officer for water resources. But acidic hydrogen sulfide sewer gasses have eaten away at the concrete on the interior.

Now the metal reinforcement is exposed in places, he said, and the acid is attacking the metal.

The interior pipe repair will involve installation of an epoxy-soaked fabric liner, Noland said. When the epoxy cures, the liner will shield the concrete from the acidic gasses and the hardened fabric will increase the pipe’s structural strength, he said.

Nowadays, Noland said, the utility uses PVC pipe in sanitary sewer lines because PVC resists acidic sewer gas.

A further problem with the old sewer line, according to PWC documents, is that some of the terrain around the pipe is not stable and not strong enough to support vehicles. This includes an area with a maintenance access road.

The $18.6 million project includes work to shore up the terrain.

This project is part of an ongoing effort the PWC started in 2006 to inspect and repair 89,000 feet of sewer pipes that are 36 inches in diameter or larger, Justice-Hinson said. So far, 43,000 feet are completed, she said, including several other sections of this sewer pipe.

From left: Public Works Commission Chairman Donald Porter, PWC worker Del Coffman, PWC worker Jason Green, PWC Chief Water Officer Mick Noland and CEO Timothy Bryant.
From left: Public Works Commission Chairman Donald Porter, PWC worker Del Coffman, PWC worker Jason Green, PWC Chief Water Officer Mick Noland and …

In other matters, the PWC on Wednesday:

  • Learned how the utility is implementing Six Sigma management tools. Six Sigma is a system by which an organization evaluates how it accomplishes its tasks and finds ways to complete them more efficiently, Chief Administrative Officer Susan Fritzen said.
  • Recognized three employees who won N.C. Waterworks Operators Association awards. Del Coffman won 2023 Outstanding Operator of the Year; John Cummings won 2023 C-Surface Operator of the Year; Jason Green won 2023 Educator of the Year.

Senior reporter Paul Woolverton can be reached at 910-261-4710 and pwoolverton@cityviewnc.com.

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pwc, public works commission, fayetteville, cumberland county, sewer