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Langdon’s streets and waste water replacement project

Broken water mains, frozen sewer lines, failing manholes, degraded streets, sub-grade gravel failures, and broken, uneven pavement in the streets are finally being addressed.

Posted on 8/24/17

By Lisa Nowatzki

The city of Langdon has hired Moore Engineering, Inc., to assess the streets, sewers, and wastewater problems. Andrew Aakre is the project manager. Aaker has reviewed all of Langdon’s infrastructures, identified the problem areas and compiled a plan to correct the damage.

Beginning sometime in October 2017, weather permitting, Langdon residents will switch over to Northeast Regional Water District (NRWD), and it will provide water services for Langdon. NRWD is the result of the merger between the former Langdon Rural Water and North Valley Water Systems.

Gordy Johnson of NRWD states, “More crews will be hired for the project. The next six weeks are going to be very busy. I think Langdon customers will enjoy the taste and good quality of the naturally soft water NRWD will provide.”

Besides water provisions, the city’s current infrastructure consists of water treatment and supply, the sewer collection system, the four-cell pond/lagoon system for wastewater, and the storm sewer system. The city also maintains two 250,000 gallon water towers and one 500,000 gallon clear well located at the water treatment plant.

According to Aakre, “The city is not able to completely move water from one pond to another, which reduces the volume available for treatment.”  The plan is to equip the city with a transfer pump station to allow water to be moved from one pond to another. The other improvement is to install rip rap rocks around the two western ponds to protect the ponds from the erosion that has occurred in the past.

The water system has older cast iron pipes that are susceptible to breaking, especially in the winter. Broken gate valves makes it hard for staff to isolate problems. One of the water towers also has some operational challenges.

Some of the sewers are too shallow and freeze during the winter. The city has six lift stations that pump waste water/sewage from a lower to higher elevation. Aakre plans to repair/rebuild the other lift stations so that the lift station on fifth street can be eliminated.

The city’s sewer system has quite a few older clay tile pipes. The clay lines show signs of cracking, misalignment, root intrusion, and susceptibility to infiltration and inflow. Replacement is the only option.

The storm sewer system is mostly undersized and doesn’t drain properly. This causes the water to back up into the streets causing streets to break down quicker. Freezing sewer problems are on 13th and 14th Avenues and areas east of Third Street.

To address all of the infrastructure problems, Aakre has developed a two phase plan. In phase one, the waste water lagoon operational challenges will be addressed. Storm sewer/drainage on 12th Avenue will be improved.

Defective gate valves will also be replaced in some areas. Replacing the aging gate valves in those areas will help determine the size and condition of the undocumented water mains. Also, sanitary sewers and water mains will be replaced and installed deeper in the ground. After the work is completed, the streets will be replaced.

During phase one, red areas  on the map will have water and sanitary sewers replaced with full street replacement. Black areas will have water, sanitary sewers and storm sewers replaced, and some lagoon repairs done.

During phase two, more sanitary sewers and water mains will be placed deeper in the ground. More storm sewer mains will be replaced to improve storm water collection. Then streets will be replaced when all the other work is complete.

During phase two on the map, the black areas will have water, sewer, and storm sewers replaced. The red areas are slated for water and sewer replacement. The green areas will have the sanitary sewer replaced, and in the blue area only water mains will be replaced.

Some of the cost of all replacement and repairs has already been offset.

“The grant for phase one has been approved by USDA,” Aakre shared. To further pay for the improvements, the city plans on redirecting funds that have been used to pay off other infrastructure debt. These funds will be applied toward paying off this project’s debt. The redirected funds will cover all of the phase one project and the majority of the phase two project that is being reviewed by USDA.

The phase one project scheduled calls for bids. Those have being taken already. Most of the construction will take place during the 2017/2018 construction season.

Phase two is slated to be surveyed and designed during the winter/spring of 2018. The final design will be completed by the summer of 2018. Bids will be taken during the summer/fall of 2018 and construction done during the 2018/2019 construction season.