KENNEWICK -- The Kennewick Irrigation District is in a rush to fix a main water line along Edison Street where it goes under railroad tracks by Kamiakin High School.
The 16-inch buried steel line has corroded and the outer concrete casing has cracked, leaking water that serves about 5,000 customers.
This will be the third repair this summer on the Edison Street main line, causing a third outage for about a third of KID's customers.
The affected area is defined as from 10th Avenue, down Edison Street, over to Olympia Street for pressurized service areas, and from 10th Avenue to Canal Drive and from Kellogg to Olympia streets for private line areas.
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The main line was shut down June 13 for two days for emergency repairs, and again about a week earlier to fix two broken valves.
Chuck Freeman, KID's manager, said that while the leaking pipe is in the construction area where the city of Kennewick is widening Edison Street, the pipe problem has existed for quite some time.
The board voted at its special meeting Tuesday to authorize spending up to $60,000 to get the pipe repaired as soon as possible, Freeman said.
KID's Beth Smith said the repair job is both to cure present leaks and a preventative measure.
Ed Everaert, engineering/operations manager, said the quick fix will take from three days to one week.
The contractor will expose about 400 feet of the pipe as it goes under the railroad tracks, then insert a PVC flexible liner that will be expanded by steam pressure to fit tightly against the steel/concrete pipe wall.
Everaert said the process can be done in a day, but extra time is needed to dig for access and to rebury the pipe before water can be put back into the main line.
About 5,000 KID customers will be without irrigation water during the repair process, he said.
Everaert said the fact that the city has construction occurring for lane widening on Edison Street makes it convenient to do the pipe repair work.
"We've got about a six-week window before the city starts paving," Freeman said.
Everaert said a public announcement will be made when construction dates are known.
The old pipe was installed in the 1960s, and has outlasted the expected lifetime of 30 to 40 years, Everaert said.
The new PVC liner has a lifetime rating of 50 to 100 years, he said.
* John Trumbo: 509-582-1529; email@example.com