It’s been a long couple of days for crews in the City’s Water/Sewer Department.
Crews worked through the night Wednesday to install bypass equipment near a sewage manhole on the northeast corner of the North Dakota State Fairgrounds.
After all, repairing a 36-inch pipe that carries 5 million gallons of sewage every day isn’t a simple project. In order to repair the 36-inch line, crews first had to install bypass pumps and equipment on a 24-inch line to keep the sewage flowing around the location under repair.
“We scheduled this work for 2 a.m. on Wednesday morning because that’s when the flow is at its lowest level,” said John Reynolds, superintendent of the Water/Sewer Department. “To do this work, we had to shut down seven lift stations while we installed the bypass valves – that includes several miles of pipe, from this location all the way back to Perkett Elementary School.”
Reynolds said about 5 million gallons of sewage flows through this location every day, which is roughly two-thirds of Minot’s daily sewage production. That means crews can’t simply shut down the line during repairs; bypass pumps and equipment must keep the sewage flowing around the area where work is happening.
The line being repaired runs under part of a parking lot on the east side of the Fairgrounds to a lift station near Public Works, then to a master lift station and eventually to the City’s lagoon system.
A section of 36-inch pipe at this location collapsed in 2021, prompting emergency repairs at that time.
“In this phase, we’ll replace about 200 feet of the 36-inch gravity flow line and a manhole section,” Reynolds said. “We also want to see what condition this 40-year-old infrastructure is in, so we’ll evaluate the remaining 4,500 feet of this line to determine what future phases of this project will require.”