First, the wastewater department had to redirect the flow. It was coming through a 12-inch line, but Dick and his staff wanted to reroute it so it wouldn’t go in a right angle, taking 90 percent of the flow off of the old manhole. This gave them the ability to get in the manhole and get to work.
“When digging the manhole up, we flooded the cave system with a fire hose ... and all the dye came out in the spring,” said Dick. “That’s how we knew where the problem was.”
Dick said they’d replace the old brick manhole with a new concrete structure, and would put joint restraints on the pipe to prevent them from pulling apart.
“Even if a cave opened up underneath it, the pipe would stay together because of the mechanical coupling on it,” said Dick. “It’s kind of a unique thing, but we want to do it in this area because we don’t want to have the problem again after we fix it.”
Dick expected to have the problem fixed by Wednesday night but it will take several days to flush all of the yucky stuff out of the creek. The process could take up to a week, depending on how much rainfall contributes to the flushing-out process.
With any luck, residents of the area should have much more pleasant outdoor air to which they can look forward in the near future.