City addressing Meadow Hill sewer issue

By ANTHONY WARREN,

Relief could soon be coming to residents impacted by a recent sewer main break on Meadow Hill Drive.

Jackson has wrapped up work on two infrastructure repair projects and has turned its attention to the Meadow Hill project.

Last week, the city was still determining what repairs were needed for the site, and whether a sewer pump could be installed to keep wastewater from flowing into a nearby creek.

The break occurred on the street near a tributary to Eubanks Creek, Engineering Manager Charles Williams said.

The city declared a state of emergency, so it can bring on a contractor through a truncated bidding process.

“We can’t have sewage running into the ditch,” he said. “(It’s a) violation of the Clean Water Act.”

The break likely occurred because of the line’s advanced age. Williams said the line is more than 40 years old and was likely installed when the subdivision was built.

The break has affected residents in the neighborhood north of Woodland Hills, including those living on Crane Boulevard.

Ward One Councilman Ashby Foote asked Williams for an update on the break at last week’s council meeting.

“I’ve had a number of constituents who are concerned about this, because it affects Ward Seven as well,” Foote said.

Engineering Manager Charles Williams said crews had been working on the problem for several days.

“We have declared an emergency to receive competitive quotes, hopefully to get that system repaired,” he said.

Williams said it was unclear how long repairs would take, and said it would depend on the scope of the project.

“Depending on (the) location of where that break is … there’s a possibility we can line that pipe instead of doing joint repair, which would lessen the impact,” he said. “If not, it could take a little bit longer.

“If it does take longer, (we have to decide) where we can put a pump to get the raw sewage out of the ditch, which right now is a violation of the Clean Water Act.”

The city can face significant fines for violating the act, and is currently under a sewer consent decree for a number of federal water quality violations.

Under that decree, the city has to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to bring its sewer system into compliance with federal law.

 

The break is located next to a tributary of Eubanks Creek, Williams said.

It was not known when a contractor would be brought on.

Under a state of emergency, the city can bring on a contractor without going through the traditional bidding process.

Normally, the city must advertise for bids for 30 days before opening them.

Under states of emergency, the city can bypass traditional advertising, and bring on a contractor after obtaining competitive bids from two firms.

The council approves paying the contractor after the work is completed and signed off on by Public Works.

The council recently paid three firms that were brought on for emergency projects.

In April, the city declared states of emergencies to bring on contractors to repair a burst sewer main on Woodland Circle and a collapsed drainage culvert on Dogwood Hill Drive.

The sewer main and culvert were damaged by heavy storms on April 2, according to city documents.

Both projects were completed in late October, and recommendations for paying the firms was taken to the council.

Southern Consultants was brought on for $37,500 to draw up plans to repair the Woodland Circle main, and Utility Constructors was hired for $290,500 to make the repairs. The project was completed in October.

Four Seasons Enterprises was hired for $26,960 the Dogwood Hill Drive work.

 

 

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