Oak Creek will pipe in new water lines

Work in three subdivisions will be funded by DNR loan

April 8, 2014

Oak Creek — Old water line systems will be replaced under Cedar Hills, Howell Estates and Rowan Estates subdivisions, where outdated piping systems account for some of the largest number of water line breaks in the city.

There are about 450 customers, or residents, affected in these areas.

The Water and Sewer Utility Department applied for a low-interest loan through the state Department of Natural Resources to compensate for the construction costs, which is about $4.5 million total for all three subdivisions.

Howell Estates construction is about 98 percent complete, said Ron Pritzlaff, utility engineer.

Rowen Estate construction started about three weeks ago and Cedar Hills work will begin next year. Rowen Estate is the largest project and required 16,000 feet of water main pipe.

The subdivisions' current pipe systems are made of cast iron from the 1950s or 1960s, Pritzlaff said. Cast iron becomes susceptible to sheering and breakage with time and frost heaves in winter. By replacing them, the city can improve the water main's quality and functionality and prevent what the department calls "customer interruption."

"We, as a utility, are progressive when it comes to looking at break history," Pritzlaff said.

As a condition of the loan, the DNR is encouraging residents to provide verbal or written comments pertaining to adverse environmental, archeological or historic effects, if any, by April 18.

"It's a common procedure that is required for all loan projects. We do an environmental review to take into account resources in the area," said Jim Witthuhn, state revolving fund engineer.

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