By Kylee Sapp
With the addition of third-year housing for about 400 students at Washington and Lee University, a sewage pipe near Jordan’s Point Park will struggle to keep up with the added flow. Lexington officials plan to resolve the issue before students move into the housing in the fall.
“Sewer lines have a certain amount of capacity for flow that they can handle,” Director of Public Works Michael Kennedy said. “In this particular case, there was some settlement in a manhole that has resulted in a slight reduction in the slope of that line.”
Sewer lines operate solely on gravitational flow, rather than being pumped. The pipe in question has a deficient slope and will not be able to keep up with the added flow expected from the new housing on the back of W&L’s campus.
The city will raise the manhole a few inches to correct the slope and return flow to the pipes.
Although the city is paying for the project, which is expected to cost around $100,000, W&L has made a contribution to the city for infrastructure.
“It is safe to say the university is contributing to this necessary project,” Kennedy said.
City officials are hiring a contractor to complete it. They opened bids last Thursday and hope to make the award within the next two weeks.
Three companies offered their services for the job.
“We are now evaluating to make sure they have good references and are fully prepared to perform this work,” Kennedy said. “If this turns out positive, then we would make the award to them and would work with them.”
Once the project begins, Kennedy thinks it could take the contractor 30 days or less to complete.
Although plans are not set yet, Kennedy thinks work will begin shortly after a contractor is chosen. The work will begin at a manhole near the picnic pavilion at Jordan’s Point Park. It will continue over another 120 feet of pipe, and end at another manhole.
Kennedy said Lexington residents will see no change in their sewage, but the project will still benefit them.
“It’s not just the student housing sewage. It’s really the entire city,” he said.