City takes step toward 2nd major water line

Published 11:48 am Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The city took another step Monday toward requesting $2,453,654 in federal funds to install a second major water line from the treatment plant on Haining Road to serve its roughly 10,000 customers.

At a called meeting, the Vicksburg Board of Mayor and Aldermen approved a letter of intent and partnership agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which administers the competitive Section 592 funds the city is seeking. If approved, the city would be responsible for a 25 percent match of $841,821, and plans to use charges from its water service to cover the match.

Public Works director Bubba Rainer said he does not know when the city will find out if it will receive the funding, but anticipates word will come down before the end of the fiscal year, Sept. 30.

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The project would see a 30-inch main installed from the plant on Haining Road east to North Washington Street, where it would head south toward downtown before running east up the steep banks near the historic Fort Nogales site. It would then be routed south beneath Fort Hill Drive and eventually tie into existing lines downtown. In total, 14,000 feet of 30-inch pipe would be installed.

A second feed would prevent future disruptions in water service to the city if the single main — located about 2 1/2 miles from the well field and treatment tanks north of town to its initial branching point around Jackson Street downtown — breaks. That happened in 2006 and was nearly experienced earlier this year.

A land shift March 26 near the MV Mississippi at Jackson and Washington streets threw a 36-inch water main in jeopardy and nearly compromised water service to the entire city. The Corps funded a $1.36 million rerouting of the line around the shift site via Main, Walnut and Jackson streets.

Though the city has roughly 10,000 water customers it serves, Rainer noted the existing main actually serves about 45,000 customers when outlying water districts are factored in.