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Temporary sewer mains removed in Vidalia

VIDALIA — With the gradual fall of the spring rise of the Mississippi River, the City of Vidalia was able to remove the temporary aboveground sewer mains it used to combat water encroachment into city sewer lines earlier this year.

The river rose early in the year, working its way into the groundwater system, which in turn forced its way into fissures in the aging sewer mains on the north side of Vidalia.

The bright blue pipes that ran along Linden Street, down Louisiana Avenue and temporarily under Martin Luther King Jr. Drive before coming back aboveground and running to the lift station on Miller Street have been removed because the river has fallen to a point where the groundwater intrusion into the underground sewer lines is no longer a problem, Utility Director Mark Morace said.

“We haven’t used that little pump in a little while, but we were waiting on the river to drop to pull it up,” Morace said.

The river is still high. According to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, today’s historic river stage is at 30 feet, but according to the National Weather Service’s Mississippi and Ohio River Forecast Center, the river at Vidalia is expected to stand at 41 feet this morning.

But it has fallen enough that it’s not causing problems with the underground sewer lines, and Vidalia Mayor Hyram Copeland said he hopes to see the problem addressed with a more permanent solution by next year.

“We have applied for a grant — and it looks extremely good that we will get it — to replace an insert liner in that old line,” he said.

“Hopefully by this time next year we won’t have to do this again.”

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