FLOWERY BRANCH — Water was gushing into the sewer pipe when Georgia was still in the drought and Lake Lanier was several feet below its summer full pool of 1,071 feet above sea level.
No telling the deluge now, with steady rainfalls and Lanier often above full pool since Oct. 12.
Jimmy Dean, Flowery Branch’s water and sewer superintendent, thinks the city could be treating about 30,000 gallons of groundwater per day.
The South Hall city is hoping to start repairing the 1,027-foot stretch of 12-inch pipe, with a bids opening set for April 7 at City Hall.
City Council will consider the bids at its April 15 meeting.
The city discovered the line had a problem while inspecting lines with a remote-controlled device that feeds images to a TV screen. The camera was dropped into the line via a manhole.
“Basically, it’s a sewer line that ... feeds directly into the (sewer plant) under the railroad where the lake is filled in now off Atlanta Highway,” City Manager Bill Andrew said.
The video shows water pouring into the line at joints, as well as the seeping through the ground. Dean said he doesn’t believe any sewage is seeping out of the line, instead rushing to the sewer plant on Atlanta Highway.
“What (the problem is) causing us to do is treat a significant amount of water that we’re not getting paid for,” especially during hard rains, Andrew said.
He joked about the matter to City Council during a Feb. 27 retreat.
“We’re making Lake Lanier cleaner every day,” he said.
The city could end up spending $50,000 to $60,000 for the repair.
“We had only $10,000 budgeted for that, but we have other funds we’re not spending this year ... in different parts of the budget to accommodate this (work),” Andrew said.
If all goes as hoped, the project will be finished by June 30.
“We’ve received a couple of calls already from folks who are interested in doing (the work),” City Planner James Riker said.
The work will involve relining the pipe with a durable material.
“It looks like a long sock. ... They have a machine that pulls it through and then they heat it, causing it to cure,” Andrew said.
The work won’t interrupt sewer service for customers, he added.