City: temporary canal pipes part of sewage solution

Photo Credit: Sara Jane Harris

COLUMBIA (WACH) -- Columbia Canal in Riverfront Park is one of the Capital City TMs most popular recreation destinations, but now two large sewage pipes are floating on the canals surface.What may be a temporary eye-sore for some is a sign of positive change for Congaree Riverkeeper Stuart Greeter."I think it's a move in the right direction," said Greeter.

Officials say the new pipes are part of a $22 million dollar project to repair nearly three miles of aging city sewer lines.They say the 16,000 feet of pipes provide a temporary by-pass for waste so workers can repair the old pipes that run from Elmwood Cemetery to USC TMs baseball stadium.

"The wastewater will run through these pipes, while the existing line is being repaired. Then it will go through the existing line and these will be pulled out," said Greeter.

"It's a very intense rehab project. We understand that it's very visible to the public, but it is something that is necessary and we have to do," said City Engineer Joey Jaco.

Jaco said putting the pipes in the canal is a much cheaper and convenient alternative to tearing up busy streets.Funding for the project comes from the capital improvement budget in the city's water and sewer fund.

Jaco also said the new pipes will carry up to 26 million gallons of waste per day and will be closely monitored to prevent any spills into the city TMs water intake valves that run next to the pipes.

City officials said the project should be completed by June of 2011.