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AWA project will line sewers

Authority to spend $117K to address backup issues in Mansion Park area

The Altoona Water Authority is planning to spend about $117,000 lining 3,100 feet of terra cotta sanitary sewer pipe in the Mansion Park neighborhood, where there are frequent backups in basements during rainstorms.

The project will be one of the last of several projects funded with $2 million from a reserve account that was made available in 2019 upon the refinancing of a series of bonds.

On Thursday, the authority awarded a contract to Insight Pipe Contracting of Harmony for the work, based on the firm’s registration with the state’s COSTAR program.

The project area is loosely bordered by Baker Boulevard, Kittanning Lane, Seneca Avenue, Ward Avenue and Union Avenue, according to a map provided by the authority.

“It’s an area where we have a consistent flow of complaints,” said Todd Musser, director of sewer treatment operations.

The problem with the 8-inch pipes is mainly root infiltration, according to Musser.

The work will include “televising” with a scope to determine the condition of the pipes, removal of the roots, insertion of the liner, curing of the liner with steam and the reopening of lateral connections, according to a contract document.

Authority workers will replace a small section of pipe that isn’t suitable for lining, said General Manager Mark Perry.

The work will take about a month and should begin in July, Musser said.

Residents have been notified about the work plans, he said.

About 80% of the authority’s sewer collection system is terra cotta, according to Musser.

The larger pipes are sometimes made of brick, Perry said.

“What is the urgency” for doing the project, asked authority member Jack Speece.

There are many potential projects that qualify as urgent, according to controller Gina DeRubeis and Perry.

The authority chose to work on the Mansion Park pipes because of their condition and because of the project’s fit with the money that’s available — $130,000 remaining from the initial $2 million, Perry said.

The authority is “selective” in choosing what to do, and approaches the need for capital repairs by chipping away, he said.

Mirror Staff Writer William Kibler is at 814-949-7038.

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