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July 07. 2013 6:07PM

Salem preparing to replace corroded water pipes

SALEM — As public work crews begin replacing and relocating the culverts along Stiles Road this month, a large section of water pipes will need to be replaced also.

During the July 1 Board of Selectmen meeting, the board voted unanimously to withdraw up to $34,650 from the town’s unassigned water fund towards the unanticipated replacement of 150 feet of corroded pipes.

Salem’s 2013 Roadway Stabilization program begins July 8, including repairs to Tyler and Bluff streets this month.

Next month public work crews will make further repairs on Bluff Street as well as Millville Street.

Mall Road, stretching from Rockingham Park Boulevard to Pleasant Street, is up for repairs sometime in early fall, officials said.

According to Town Manager Keith Hickey, replacing the Stiles Roads pipes wasn’t part of the original plan, but during a pre-construction survey it was discovered that acidic soil had taken its toll on the underground pipes.

“This is something we don’t usually find,” Hickey said.

Public Works Director Rick Russell said that in this case, the water pipes appear to have corroded due to stray currents in the ground stemming from buried power lines, as well as the acidic soil.

“We believe it’s a combination of both,” said Russell, who recommended wrapping the water main in a special, plastic coating over the course of the project.

Russell said it was impossible to predict this problem decades ago when Stiles Road was built, as the majority of the area’s soil was sandy and work crews placed the pipes well below the surface.

“I believe we’ll have it all under control once we lay down the new pipes,” he added. “Because once we do install the new line, it will be poly-coated.”

aguilmet@newstote.com


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