Last Wednesday, contractors set up large bypass lines and pumps to capture wastewater from the end of the broken pipe and pump it across the land to the nearest manhole redirecting the waste around the break. Bypass pumping allows staff to replace the pipe without interrupting service to customers or discharging additional wastewater into the nearby stream. Bypass operations are monitored periodically but over the weekend, monitoring frequency was increased due to vandalism and a secondary spill.
Upon arriving on the site around 7:30 am Sunday, a Charlotte Water supervisor found a bypass pump hose failure. The bypass line was blown out at a joint, right before the lines cross the creek. That pump had just started just started at 7:10am for morning peak flows. The pump was shut back down at 7:50 am. The lines were reconnected and bypass operations resumed without further incident. Staff estimates 27,000 gallons were spilled as a result of the hose failure.
The access road is nearly finished and stockpiling of materials has begun. The access road will allow heavy machinery to move to the pipe replacement site without getting stuck or damaging other infrastructure.