Crew to repair sewer pipe problem in Houston courthouse

wcrenshaw@macon.comJanuary 7, 2014 

PERRY -- A repair crew will take jackhammers to the floor of the Houston County Courthouse soon, but it isn’t expected to disrupt operations.

The Houston County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday agreed to spend $46,700 to repair a lingering problem with the sewer pipe from the first floor restrooms. The pipe is buried under the concrete slab floor of the courthouse, so replacing it will be a major undertaking.

However, the work is set to be done Jan. 18-20, which is the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend. Operations Director Robbie Dunbar said the crew will begin the job at the close of business that Friday and will work around the clock through the weekend.

Even if the work isn’t entirely finished by the time the courthouse opens for business, Dunbar said he does not expect it will disrupt operations.

The problem has been going on for years, and maintenance crews have been dealing with it by using a plumbers rod to clear out the line on a regular basis.

However, Commission Chairman Tommy Stalnaker said the problem has worsened to the point that the line backs up several times a week.

“This can has been kicked down the road until it can’t be kicked anymore,” he said.

The contractor, International City Builders, will demolish about 100 linear feet of floor and replace the damaged cast iron pipe with PVC pipe. The contract also includes replacement of carpet and tile that will be damaged in the process.

“It may seem like a small job, but it’s going to be quite a task,” said Commissioner Larry Thomson.

A sewer inspection camera was used to determine the pipe was separated in one spot and appeared to be sagging in two others. Dunbar said the sagging is probably due to the settling of the dirt.

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