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Posted on: October 26, 2020

City monitoring temporary bypass sewer line during water line construction

Galveston, TX – October 26, 2020 – For the next four to six weeks, residents who live in the 74th Street area should expect to see a temporary bypass sewer line periodically.

Work is underway constructing a 24-inch water line extending from the 59th Street pump station to a pump station at the airport. The bypass sewer line, which is used to temporarily carry sewage to a wastewater treatment plant, is necessary to avoid hitting the existing sewer line running in Lake Madeline. As part of the project, we are collecting survey grade GPS points from inside the force main and mapping the exact location and depths of the pipe.

The existing sewer line is turned off while the bypass line is in use. Without using the bypass, the sewage would likely run into the lift station and overflow. Bypass pumping is a common practice in municipal utility construction. 

The temporary sewer line will be used periodically over the next several weeks as work on the new water line continues. Crews are closely monitoring the bypass sewage line when it is in use for any potential leaks or spills, and if necessary will address any residue or clean up. 

Municipal utilities employees have been breaking down the line after each use to mitigate residents’ concerns about sewage residual exposure. This is an added precautionary measure beyond what is necessary or required. 

In addition to removing the line when it is not in use, the City of Galveston has also used deodorant blocks to mitigate the sewage odor some residents have observed. The odor is caused by the lift station lid remaining open while the bypass line is in use. The deodorant used helps, but will not eliminate the smell. 

In recent weeks, there has been vandalism of the temporary sewer line. The City is installing security cameras and will file the appropriate criminal charges against anyone found to be tampering with the line. 

The 24-inch water line project will provide a back-up water line for the island’s West End and increase Galveston’s water storage capacity, which is critical in the event of a storm. The project also includes the repaving of Heards Lane. 

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