Vandergrift stuck with sunken sewer line repair
A large section of relatively new sewer line in Vandergrift sank, leaving the borough to pay for an unexpected and costly repair.
Borough Engineer Lucien Bove told council last week the sewer line along Whittier Street in the Heights section of the borough apparently sank.
Borough Manager Steve DelleDonne said the problem came to light because of sewage backups in residents’ homes.
“It’s sunken, therefore you are getting back-up flows,’ he said.
Bove said he initially thought the sunken section was about 20 feet long, but now believes that is not the case. He thinks the affected section is almost six times that, about 117 feet.
“Something moved, something settled,” Bove said. “It’s 117 feet. It’s under sidewalks and roads and part of it is 11 feet deep.”
He estimates the cost of fixing the line could be as much as $20,000.
DelleDonne said the line was part of the extensive storm-sanitary sewer separation project undertaken by the borough about six years ago.
The Whittier Street line was included in the Phase 1 construction of the project, which was done in 2014, he said.
R.A. Monzo Construction of Latrobe was the contractor for that part of the project, which complicates matters for the borough in seeking to get the line corrected.
Monzo subsequently went out of business. In addition, Bove said the maintenance bond for the line was for only two years. It expired in 2016.
According to DelleDonne, the repair of the Whittier line probably will come out of the borough’s sewer fund. He said the fund is financed through the rates paid by Vandergrift residents and exists to pay the debt service on the project but also to cover any repair costs such as this.