Repair work began Monday on a water line break at the corner of Southeast Main Street and East Chisum Street. (Julia Bergman Photo)
An estimated $180,000 repair job began Monday on a transmission line break at the corner of Southeast Main and East Chisum streets with a construction crew and heavy machinery on site. City personnel began working on the break April 25.
The break, which affects a three-foot stretch of one of the city’s transmission lines, was caused by age and corrosion. The 50-year-old line extends from the Roswell International Air Center to Main and Chisum, where it dead ends. The 30,000 gallons of water that were being pumped daily into the streets of Roswell are now being rerouted through the city’s sewer system to its wastewater plant.
Due to the scope of the project, the city has brought in Albuquerque-based Pipeline Solutions Inc., to help with the repair. Members of Pipeline Solutions began excavating the line Monday to prepare the pipe for two plug inserts. Repair work was delayed due to the customized equipment required for the job, specifically two customized plugs — 36 and 42 inches in length. The cost of the plugs is $1,000 per inch, or $78,000 for both.
Project Manager Kale Garretson said the sheer size and weight of the tools has been the biggest challenge. “The 42 inch fitting is approximately 4,800 pounds. The 36 (inch fitting) is about 3,600 pounds. The tooling on the 42 is 1,800 pounds,” he said.
City wastewater manager Art Torrez said repairs should be completed within one week. Of the 350 miles of water lines located within city limits, Torrez estimated that 25 percent needed to be inspected due to their aged status.