Mystery sewer lines discovered under Taneytown

November 13, 1992|By Traci A. Johnson | Traci A. Johnson,Staff Writer

Engineers overseeing the television examination and cleaning of Taneytown's sewer lines have discovered four sewer connections that the city cannot account for, City Manager Joseph A. Mangini Jr. said.

"According to the city maps of the sewer lines, those connections shouldn't be there," Mr. Mangini said.

Robinson Pipe Cleaning Co. began work Monday morning on East Baltimore Street near the pharmacy and found lines that puzzled the workers, Mr. Mangini told the mayor and Town Council later that day at the monthly meeting.

Mr. Mangini said the unmarked lines do not appear on any current city sewer maps and could be bringing 250,000 more gallons of water into the system daily than it should be handling.

"They appear to be storm water drains that are bringing rain water run-off into the sanitation system," Mr. Mangini said.

"The plant is capable of holding 750,000 gallons or so a day and can handle the water, but it shouldn't be," he said. "This is work the plant is doing that we are not getting money for. It is very inefficient."

City engineers brought the dilapidated condition of the sewer system to the council's attention in June when they cited several deficiencies in sections of pipe.

Engineers suggested that portions of the system be cleaned and televised -- photographed by a camera moving through the pipes -- before major repair work begins.

The pipe-cleaning company has been sending remote-controlled cameras down to take pictures inside the sewer system, seeking spots where water leaks through or outside substances infiltrate the piping.

The town suspected that there was an infiltration problem, but not of this magnitude, Mr. Mangini said.

"If you get 2 inches of rain one day, that's not what goes into the system," Mr. Mangini said. "You get the water from all over the city."

Shutting the lines out of the system could be the answer, Mr. Mangini said, but the city doesn't know whether that would cut off a vital function to Taneytown.

The city engineers and the pipe company must figure out why the lines exist before taking on responsibility for capping them.

"We figure they could be abandoned lines or from homes that were torn down, but we can't plug them unless we know for sure," Mr. Mangini said. "They could be connected to someone's home."

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