Holes on Montgomery streets pave the way for pipe repair - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Holes on Montgomery streets pave the way for pipe repair

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MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

If you've noticed big holes in the ground around parts of Montgomery, don't worry they are there for a reason.

As part of an ongoing project, the Montgomery Water Works department is digging up old water pipes to clean them out.

But some need a little more help than others after 70 years of wear and tear.

"You can see the main running right through there," says Buddy Morgan, Director of Montgomery Water Works.

Residents on South Hull Street are about to get a little jolt in their faucets.

"Higher pressure than they've had," adds Morgan.

It's all because pipes are getting a deep cleaning after years in service.  Morgan says they're broken and full of rust.

"It gets to the point where you come out and you dig and you gotta fix it. Then you come back in three weeks later and you got another break."

Morgan says these multi-million dollar pipe repairs have been happening all over the city for the last few years. But the pipes on South Hull are in dire need.

"We're trying to reinforce the pipe."

Crews pump a chemical pipe strengthener inside them so they don't break again. 

While it may not be glamorous, projects like this one could actually wind up saving taxpayers money.

"We're just waiting on that midnight call," says Montgomery Public Works Director Chris Conway.

Conway says while Water Works and Public Works are totally separate entities, his department typically steps in for water emergencies.

"Have them come out and make sure the traffic control's in place," adds Conway.

If repairs keep fewer pipes from breaking?

"This kinda takes that guesswork out of it and certainly saves us money," says Conway.

Even the construction saves money.  New technology allows crews to only dig up small areas instead of entire streets.

"We're able to do more miles of pipe for the same dollar," says Morgan.

If you live near the construction you might be receiving water from above ground pipes.

Officials say the water is safe to drink.

Copyright 2012  WSFA 12 News.  All rights reserved.

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