GRAND ISLAND,Neb. — Water backing up through a manhole was the first indication to Grand Island Public Works that something might be wrong with the wastewater system.
The problem was located at Seedling Mile access road just south of Highway 30. After noticing the backup, officials sent cameras into the pipe to address the problem.
Once down in the pipe, officials found a serious problem - the pipe had heaved, causing damage to the line that needed immediate repair.
"For some reason the pipe floated up in the ground there is a number of reasons that can occur. It doesn't happen very often. One is the soil can liquefy another is you can get some significant vibrations known as water hammer, we've tested for everything we can and none of that occurred here so we aren't real sure why it floated," said Grand Island Public Works director John Collins.
Adding to the confusion of the pipe's failure was the age, with the line only being about five years old.
In addition to being fairly new, the pipe is also one of the largest in the wastewater system, accounting for a large part of the city's wastewater flow.
"This is very critical as its about 40 percent of the flow into our plant each day it takes care of the whole north part of Grand Island and flows about four million gallons a day," said Collins.
While repairing the pipe wont be a complicated process, it will be an expensive one.
To bring in all of the experts and equipment needed for a proper repair, the city of Grand Island is estimating the project will cost close to half a million dollars.
"The cost is very costly quite unexpected for the budget. Its about $500,000 is a round number where I am rounding up but that's for construction engineering, excavation, everything including observation," said Waste Water Project Manager Tara Bevard.
Officials are still digging down to the pipe in question, but are hopeful they will have it uncovered by Thursday with final repairs being finished in early September.