Experts suggest that if your sewer is 40 years old, it may need replacing. The trouble is that pipe repairs can be immensely expensive, and so cities often leave the problems until they can afford to fix them. Fortunately, new funding and new methods have allowed towns and cities across Alabama to fix their sewer issues.
Through the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has awarded almost $1.5 million in Community Development Block Grants to Madison, DeKalb, and Jackson counties to support water and sewer improvement projects.
Fort Payne in DeKalb County tops the list with a $450,000 grant, and Sylvania in DeKalb County will receive the smallest grant at $326,000 grant. Meanwhile Gurley in Madison County and the Jackson County Commission will each receive a $350,000 grant.
“Through the Community Development Block Grant program, communities are able to complete vital projects that local governments would otherwise be unable to afford,” said Governor Robert Bentley.
However, it’s Cherokee that’s making the biggest sewer repair. For the past 10 years, one of the town’s pipes has been leaking millions of gallons of water each month.
“We estimated about 1.3 million a month, our engineer did, and so if you put a dollar figure on that, that’s about $20,000 a year and if we sold that water, there’s a price around $70,000,” said Cherokee Mayor Terry Cosby, WHNT reported.
That’s about 35 gallons a minute wasted.
The town didn’t fix the pipe for years, as the project seemed too costly, and too difficult, though it wasn’t for “lack of trying, but because it was hard to reach, and equipment wasn’t available to pinpoint the source,” the Times Dailyreported.
The key, apparently, was to dig deeper than officials had dug before and to use special equipment to help pinpoint the exact location of the leak.