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Poulsbo’s going with the flow

A similar sewer system improvement project was conducted in Poulsbo on Avenue in 2000. The next is slated to start in August.  - Courtesy Photo
A similar sewer system improvement project was conducted in Poulsbo on Avenue in 2000. The next is slated to start in August.
— image credit: Courtesy Photo

POULSBO — Little Norway is taking its aging sewer system to task.

The Viking City will undergo a 45-day improvement project in its old town core. Construction will begin in August. The project is designed to retire Poulsbo’s antiquated sanitary sewer pipes, which have aged beyond 50 years and are infiltrated with roots, said City Engineer Andrzej Kasiniak. The scope runs from Third Avenue to Fifth Avenue, and from Iverson Street just slightly past Hostmark Street on Fjord Drive, as well as Swanson Way in the city’s southeast portion.

An informational meeting is planned on the topic tomorrow evening in Poulsbo’s city hall.

Phil Struck, senior consultant for project consultant Parametrix, said improvements will help to ensure the system has enough capacity to handle the city’s increasing population, as well as help to control user rates by reducing the amount of water that needs to be treated and lead the city more in line with Department of Ecology and comprehensive planning standards. Stormwater that flows in and groundwater that infiltrates the system have caused backups and overflows during storms.

Contract bidding opened Monday. The estimated cost is $650,000.

Senior Field Inspector Mike Lund said while some thru-traffic road closures may occur, no more than one intersection will be blocked off at a time and residents will be notified of upcoming traffic interruptions. Four-hour windows in which a home’s sewer service will need to be shut off will also be preceeded by ample warning, he said.

Kasiniak said the project is one that’s been four years in planning, and is the third of its kind in Poulsbo since the mid 1990s. A previous wastewater improvement project was conducted on Sixth Avenue in 2000.

He said each home in the construction zone should only feel a one-day impact, while neighborhoods on the whole may notice the interruption a bit longer. But those attending the meeting Thursday can ask specific questions about their property, yards and landscaping.

“We will be able to talk about specific construction issues,” he said. “We are planning to work individually with the property owners.”

The pipe replacement process will, in many cases, not require the tearing up of streets. Instead, a pipe bursting method will be used in which the new, inch-thick piping is fed down a manhole and through the old piping, preceded by a burster that breaks away the former pipe. They city’s current system not only suffers from age and roots, but some of it is made of clay, which only has a life span of 30 years. Significant volumes of surface and groundwater have gotten into the system because of its age and state. The new piping is meant to last at least 50 years, and contains fewer seams so that roots aren’t as much of a problem.

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