Wednesday, April 4, 2018


     In the early days of planning, we sort of ignored the underground storm water and sanitary sewer lines.   I guess we thought we would just tie into the Old School's existing line.  Let's see:  twenty-nine new apartments with showers and dishwashers and washing machines dumping waste water into an eighty-year old 8" clay tile.   What could possibly go wrong?  On top of that, it was sort of a mystery where the rain water from the gutters and downspouts was going.   The downspouts disappeared below grade and we weren't exactly sure where the water went from there.   Into the sanitary sewer system?  Into the ground?  It was hard to tell.  A preliminary conversation with the City Engineer about tying the new downspouts directly into the sanitary sewer system was met with a funny look.  (A bit of a back story:   The older sections of Newark are served by a combination sanitary and storm sewer.  EPA frowns on such things today, for good reason.  The City is actually in the middle of a massive, and very expensive, project separating the storm water system from the sanitary sewer system.  That separation is not scheduled anytime soon in the Old School's neighborhood. Also, West Main between 5th and 6th, which is the longest block in the downtown and is where the Old School resides, is not served by any storm water inlets.   For the most part, heavy rains caused the sidewalk in front of the Old School to flood.)  Anyway, back to the story.  Once we started work, we got a bit wiser.  Engineers were consulted and plans drawn to both install all new sanitary sewer lines from the building to the existing manhole in the middle of West Main, as well as new storm water lines, connecting the existing gutters and downspouts to a brand new catch basin that was installed along our front curb.  While not accounted for in the preliminary budget, this was an expense best not avoided.

New connection for one of the gutters


new storm and sanitary collection lines side by side

one more downspout connection

New manhole for all of the storm lines to connect into

Large pipe is the storm line from the manhole to the catch basin at the curb.
From there it flows to the combination sewer manhole in the center of West
Main.   When the City separates the sanitary from the storm in the future,
we will be prepared.

Smaller pipe is a sanitary sewer connection.  Larger pipe
is for storm water.

The plumber's job was to get the sanitary sewer line 3' out of the building.
From there, our excavator made the connections for the waste water to get
to the City sewer line in the middle of West Main Street.   This is the first step.

Making one more of the sanitary sewer connections

We also needed to put a sprinkler fire suppression system in
the building.   We would have done it anyway, but the
building code requires sprinklers for buildings over 14,000
square feet, especially when there is a "change of use."
This is the trench for the new 4" water line that will service
the Old School.

Oops.  What's this?    Right about here is where the new 4" water line is
supposed to enter the building.   We found what looked like a concrete vault
at the entry point.   No one knew why it was there, or what it was for. 
After much debate, we just drilled a hole through it and there was no problem

digging up West Main to make all the connections

playing in the mud

Safety first when working deep

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