New water lines slipped beneath North Warren

The North Warren Municipal Authority is having some work done.

A crew from Landmark Excavating of Waterford is installing new water lines in the neighborhood east of Route 62 and south of Warren State Hospital.

About 9,000 feet of 8-inch line along State Street will serve another 9,000 feet of 6-inch lines along side streets. Some smaller lines will also be used. In all, 310 service connections will be made to customers.

The project is scheduled for about six months, ending in September, according to Landmark Owner/Operator Chris Amacher. The crew was working along Weatherbee Street on Tuesday.

The crew is using directional drilling to bore holes underground to limit the need for digging in yards. “Directional drilling saves a lot of excavation,” Inspector Gary Sorensen said. However, “Once they start putting services in there will be excavation at every house.”

The Ditch Witch directional drill is capable of boring about 500 feet at a time.

The new water lines will parallel the existing lines. The old pipes, made of either cast iron or asbestos-cement, will be left in the ground and disconnected from the water system.

Part of the crew fuses 40-foot sections of high density polyethylene pipe into longer sections along Route 62.

Those longer pipes are pulled into the ground by the same equipment that makes the holes. The drill bores an initial hole about the size of the pipe to be pulled through. A larger bit then expands the hole to about twice the diameter of the pipe. The end of the pipe is chained to the end of the ream bit and pulled back to the Ditch Witch.