By Tim Cox
City water crews have patched more than 250 water line breaks in recent years, a sign of the city's aging water infrastructure.
Celina City Council members reviewed seven pages that list the date, location and repair method used for every water main rupture since 1998. There have been an average of about 40 such breaks annually during the past three years.
With so many emergency repairs, a couple of council members quipped that the system should be in good shape with so many replaced pipes. But that is not the case, Safety-Service Director Jeff Hazel said.
"They're all taken care of by bandages," Hazel said of the repairs.
In fact, the list of water line projects shows a majority of them were fixed with material called a "stainless steel Band-aid." City officials are in the midst of efforts to plan and eventually build a new water plant under findings and orders from the EPA but those plans do not address the distribution system. The system has numerous "old fittings and old lines," Hazel said, noting that the dry summer this year has compounded problems and kept water repair crews busy.
Already this year, crews have used 60 tons, about $9,000 worth, of asphalt to patch the streets after water line repairs are made, Hazel said.
The listing of repair jobs shows the breaks are scattered throughout the city but also show some problem areas where breaks frequently occur. Water lines along Brandon and Buckeye streets have needed regular service the past couple of years as well as a water main underneath Murlin Avenue.
In other business Monday, council members:
´ Passed first reading of an ordinance to contract with the Mercer County Emergency Management Services for 25 cents per capita. The contract will cost Celina about $2,600.
´ Passed second reading of an ordinance that sets permit fees for cutting into street surfaces to repair underground utilities. It has been about 30 years since the current charges were established. Council's streets and alleys committee wants to review the ordinance before a final vote.
´ Did not discuss a deal to relocate Alumacast Inc., 300 N. Brandon Ave., to the Grand Lake Industrial Park. Two pieces of legislation are tabled as part of the deal. Council members plan to discuss the issue further during a special meeting that has not yet been scheduled.