Flowers bloom at Soldotna City Hall on Wednesday, June 24, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Flowers bloom at Soldotna City Hall on Wednesday, June 24, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Soldotna to repair failed wastewater pipe

The pipe to be repaired discharges treated effluent into the Kenai River

The City of Soldotna will use $714,000 to repair a pipe that drains treated wastewater into the Kenai River following city council approval of the expense during their Nov. 8 meeting.

The pipe to be repaired discharges treated effluent, or wastewater, into the Kenai River. Soldotna Utility Manager Michael Allen wrote in an Oct. 12 memo to council members that the city first noticed in April that the flows in the center’s effluent meters had increased.

Working with CRW Engineering Group, the city determined that the outfall pipe, which was constructed in the early 1970s, had become clogged and collapsed. CRW wrote in a project memo to the city that although the observed failure was likely caused in part by the clogs, the pipe was also reaching the end of its lifespan.

“Given the age of the CMP pipe (50+ years) it is likely that the pipe has reached the end of its useful life and is (in) need of replacement,” the project memo says.

The project work will include removing the existing pipe and replacing it with a new, bigger pipe. An existing manhole will also be replaced. The memo says further that replacement work is expected to occur during a two- to three-week period between November 2023 and April 2024 when the Kenai River’s water levels are lowest.

“The level of the water in the river and the presence of ice/snow in the area will have a significant impact on key design and construction factors including: access to the site; cofferdam and dewatering design; and overall constructability,” the CRW memo says.

The Soldotna Wastewater Treatment Plant, which services about 4,000 people, treats wastewater twice and then disinfects it before draining it at Mile 20 of the Kenai River. Soldotna has discharged treated and disinfected effluent into the Kenai River since the 1970s, according to previous Clarion reporting.

More information about Soldotna’s wastewater treatment plant can be found on the city’s website at soldotna.org.

Reach reporter Ashlyn O’Hara at ashlyn.ohara@peninsulaclarion.com.

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