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      Eight Sewer Collapses Reported This Year in Grand Island

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      Collapsed sewer lines are becoming more common in Grand Island.

      Wednesday, G.I.'s city council voted to fund the latest emergency repair at a cost of nearly $30,000.

      That collapse under an alley just west of Grand Island Senior High has been fixed.

      Officials said many times the problem is only visible when a hole appears on the ground above.

      "It's getting to be fairly typical now. We've had eight so far this fiscal year," said G.I. Public Works Director John Collins.

      If the collapse isn't fixed Collins said it could surface in your toilet.

      "People have to give up flushing. The lines would continue to deteriorate and areas of the city would go out of service. Eventually you'd get backups into homes," he said.

      Wastewater officials said lift stations scattered throughout the city are to blame.

      "They're a potential source for hydrogen sulfide, and hydrogen sulfide is corrosive. It has the ability to eat the inside of pipe, concrete pipe, concrete manholes," said Marvin Strong, G.I. wastewater plant engineer.

      There's already a plan to get rid of more than half of those lift stations. It's part of a multi–million dollar wastewater treatment project currently underway.

      "We're rebuilding a lot of lines. We're putting some slip lining in some of the existing pipes and doing things to take care of this to prevent these types of failures," said Collins.

      He said it's not a huge problem for his department - and those contracted to do repairs - to fix one collapse at a time. Collins said his crew is catching many deteriorating lines before they fail.

      "Most of it we've been ahead of the failure. Eight times this year, we weren't," said Collins.

      The city has spent more than $233,000 on sanitary sewer collapses in this fiscal year, but Collins said he's budgeted for these types of issues.


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