OCEANSIDE — Work is underway to replace water and sewer pipelines in the downtown area, including some pipeline that dates 100 years. The yearlong project improves water and sewer reliability, capacity, and water quality.
“The majority of the pipelines in the downtown area are between 80 to 90 years old and have reached, and in most cases exceeded, the life expectancy,” Shawnele Morelos, city senior civil engineer, said.
In addition to wear over time, some of the old pipeline does not meet city minimum standards of an 8-inch diameter. This is necessary to ensure sufficient water flow.
Fire safety is a chief concern.
“A major driving force in this effort for the city is upsizing the waterlines to provide the fire flow requirements throughout the area,” Morelos said. “The old cast-iron and vitrified clay pipes will be replaced with new polyvinyl chloride pipes for both water and sewer.”
The project also includes replacing water meters, hydrants, and customer water service connections.
Work by Burtech Pipeline began in late October on the north end of the project area.
Sewer pipes on Neptune Alley, Freeman Street, Clementine Street, and Horne Street have been swapped with new pipes.
To date 1,437 linear feet of pipeline has been replaced.
Work continues to move south.
“This week they will continue on Horne Street, they plan to dig Tuesday and pave Wednesday,” Morelos said.
A total of 1.8 miles of water lines, and 2.1 miles of sewer lines will be replaced.
To minimize project impacts temporary pipelines and pumps are put in place to allow normal water delivery and sewer collection during construction.
Work is done in sections that take one to two weeks to complete.
At the end of each water pipe replacement section, there is a temporary eight-hour water shut off to connect the new pipeline to the existing mainlines.
Downtown residents and businesses have been alerted about the project through mailed city flyers that were sent to property owners and tenants in October.
There are also signs throughout downtown, and an information hotline.
As a final measure the city gives 48 hour notice to those who will be directly impacted by weekly work.
Temporary no parking zones are a necessary inconvenience in the construction zone, as well as road detours around work in alleys and road lanes.
Morelos said the chief feedback has been lack of parking in construction zones.
“The contractor is working diligently to open up access to all streets by 4 p.m.,” Morelos said.
Workwise pipe replacement is on schedule. The project is expected to be finished in September 2017, and last the city another 100 years.