City to invest $6M in sewer collection system

Beaumont sewer line workers

As the city of Beaumont continues its improvements to the municipality’s water and sewer infrastructure, the city of Port Arthur is facing its own struggles with sewage, with 1 million gallons of wastewater flowing through city streets from Feb. 9 to Feb. 12.

The Executive Assistant to the City Manager of Beaumont, Chris Jarmon, announced Feb. 16 that improvements and repairs approved in May 2017 were already underway around town. According to Jarmon, the City Council authorized the issuance of $21 million in Water Revenue Bonds on May 2, 2017, in order to make repairs to the city’s water and sewer infrastructure. Of that amount, $2 million was allocated to a citywide assessment of the sewer collection system and $4 million was allocated to pipe bursting defective sewer lines. Pipe bursting is a trenchless method of replacing buried pipelines without the need for a traditional construction trench.

City staff has already begun the implementation of the projects, reports Jarmon. Oct. 24, 2017, the City Council entered into an agreement with Lockwood, Andrews, and Newman (LAN) for Phase 1 of the citywide sewer evaluation. Dec. 12, 2017, the City Council entered into an agreement with Horseshoe Construction for a citywide pipe bursting contract. In Phase 1 of this contract, Horseshoe will perform pipe bursting on Martin Street, Pollard Avenue, Haden Road, East Lucas Road, 13th Street and North 15th Street. In addition, the City Council entered into a separate agreement with Horseshoe Construction on Jan. 9 to replace manholes and perform pipe bursting work in the Amelia area.

The City of Beaumont maintains approximately 760 miles of sewer lines and over 10,000 sewer manholes.

“These projects, along with other sewer projects to come, will help the city keep its sewer infrastructure in working order,” Jarmon stated. “As always, citizens are encouraged to report sewer problems to 311 by phone, e-mail, Web or mobile app.”

Port Arthur sewer ruptures

The city of Port Arthur announced Feb. 15 that a “spill from a wastewater facility” occurred over the previous weekend, from Feb. 9 to Feb. 12. According to Water Utilities Manager Donald Stanton, the spill, located around 5440 Procter St., was the result of a rupture of a 36-inch line that caused “structural failure due to pipe ductile iron piping decay.”

The city was eventually able to stem the leak, but not before 1 million gallons of raw sewage had seeped from the collection system.

The city notified the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and corrected the cause of the spill, according to Stanton.