Work could begin soon to correct longstanding water and sewerage problems in Commerce.
City manager Pete Pyrzenski unveiled a “water master plan” at Monday night’s work session, the first phase of which is a $1.7 million project to boost pressure in the south portion of the water distribution system. In addition, Przenski proposes to replace a leaking clay sewer trunk line in downtown Commerce at a cost yet to be determined.
The city council will consider at its Oct. 19 meeting a proposed “master agreement for engineering services” with Carter & Sloope, Inc., Macon, for both projects.
Engineer Trey Gavin told the council that preliminary investigation into low-pressure problems in the city indicated that the issue is not line size or capacity, as previously sought, but a matter of pressure caused because the city’s 500,000-gallon water tank near Roper Pump Company is shorter than its other tanks. The result is a reduction in both the availability of the water in the tank and the pressure in the system.
“The system is sufficient to satisfy probable flow requirements,” Gavin said in reference to pipes, valves and tanks already in place.
The options are to raise the Roper tank, build a new tank on the south side of town or install a booster pump system and create a high-pressure zone serving the area.
Part of the booster pump project would be to link the Commerce system to the Jackson County Water and Sewerage Authority’s line along Hwy. 334, requiring a half-mile line extension, to obtain a backup water supply.
The booster option would cost about $1.4 million. Pyrzenski said the city qualifies for a $500,000 grant and would use SPLOST funds as well.
The scope of the sewer project has not been fully determined, but Pyrzenski said that should be known this week after cameras probe the line along South Broad Street from Central Avenue south to Sycamore Street. That area has long had an issue with odor, which the manager thinks may be caused by a “dip” in the line that holds waste materials.
That line is located under the pavement, which means the city would have to close one lane of traffic and about 20 parking spaces to replace or repair it. Pyrzenski repeatedly suggested that the work would be a “nighttime project.”
In addition to that section, a longest stretch further south along Broad Street is targeted for replacement.
Part of the problem is that the old line is just 18 inches under the roadway and is subject to damage from heavy truck traffic. The cost of that work is estimated at $350,000. Pyrzenski said the city has $500,000 in SPLOST money available.
For the full story, see the Oct. 7 issue of The Commerce News.