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More failures along Union Road sewer line
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The cost of making emergency repairs to a failing sewer trunk line under Union Road could easily exceed $90,000.

After the 30-inch line partially collapsed on Feb. 9 just north of the railroad tracks on Union Road, city crews discovered at least three other trouble spots. One involved the pavement getting “spongy” leading to the decision to put steel plates in place to avoid a potential sewer pipe failure from creating a sink hole. There is an $89,000 cost associated with fixing the first line failure.

City crews put hoses in place for an emergency bypass of the collapsed section while Teichert Construction is making the emergency repairs. Municipal workers labored around the clock for a number of days to make sure a temporary fix could be put in place and that no raw sewage spilled into the storm drain system. Funding for the repairs is coming from the emergency repairs account from the sewer maintenance and operations fund covered by users fees charged monthly to municipal sewer users

The line was put in place in 1963.

Councilman Gary Singh asked whether Manteca was actively using video cameras to check the condition of Manteca’s 250 miles plus of sewer lines.

Public Works Director Mark Houghton noted the city has specially designed video equipment on one of its trucks to check the conditions of the lines but lacks the manpower. The employees that would do the videotaping are the same ones that clean out the system around Manteca when there is an issue with sewer being backed up.

Houghton said 10 miles of city sewer lines — mainly major lines — have been videotaped by an outside firm for $350,000.

Singh said if it is less expensive for Manteca to hire more wastewater treatment collection workers to video the lines to stay ahead of breaks than to farm the work out the city needs to look at the option of adding staff.


To contact Dennis Wyatt, email