FRONT ROYAL – The town will spend $887,537 to replace damaged sewer lines contributing to the overloading of the wastewater treatment plant.
Robert Boyer, the town’s public works director, said over the phone that sewer lines throughout the town, which are made of clay or concrete, are too damaged to repair and must be replaced with more durable PVC pipes.
The Town Council on Tuesday approved the work, which will include the replacement of over 3,000 feet of sewer pipelines and associated appurtenances.
Boyer noted the project is part of the town’s ongoing effort to reduce the amount of groundwater entering the treatment plant, which is the result of cracked pipes and open manholes.
The town, he said, has been under a consent order from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality since 2009 because the excess water is entering the plant. Being under a consent order, he said, means the town must provide the DEQ with a three-year plan to solve the issue.
If those plans are not carried out, he said the DEQ can fine the town or mandate upgrades.
By the end of the year, Boyer said the town will have spent about $3 million on the project.
The damaged lines set to be repaired are scattered throughout town on about 12 streets. Boyer estimated that the repairs will begin around the end of January and said the town will release public notices before work starts.
He said the work will be performed with “very limited interruptions” to sewer services, but citizens may be asked to not flush toilets for minimal time frames.
In May 2018, the town completed work on a $45 million upgrade to its wastewater treatment plant off Manassas Avenue. According to previous reports, if that plant continues being overloaded, the town may have to begin an $18 million phase two.
Boyer said that could include a basin that essentially would serve as a storage tank for high flow events.