Houston's sewers double the trouble this wintergreenspun.com : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread
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http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/story.hts/metropolitan/817081 Houston's sewers double the trouble this winter " Houston has twice as many sewer problems this year as it did last winter, problems that the city's public works director attributes to aging pipes and cold weather. Public Works Director Tom Rolen said today that the city had about 5,000 stoppages and 600 sewer line repairs last month, compared to 2,500 stoppages and 300 repairs in January 2000. City Council approved an emergency measure today to allow $2 million in pipe repair contracts to be doled out without going through the regular competitive bid process. Bypassing the bid process allows the work to begin more quickly. Council members approved the measure, requested by Rolen and Mayor Lee Brown, but several objected to what they saw as poor planning. "I would think we would have been hearing from you back in January and not in the middle of February," Councilman Chris Bell said. Rolen said his department was doing its best to address the problem and thought it would be able to do the work without farming it out to contractors. "I was hoping that we could handle the situation, but it's become very clear that ... we can't handle it," Rolen said. Brown defended Rolen. "He's trying to be creative and get a few days jump on the problem so people won't suffer," Brown said. Rolen said the department has a backlog of about 250 repairs. and the sewage leaks create health and safety problems. The problems come on the heels of a late summer rash of water main breaks that infuriated Houstonians. The city has blamed those problems on record high temperatures. Councilman Orlando Sanchez questioned why, since the city knows its pipes are aging, it was not better able to anticipate the number of breaks it would have. Rolen said the "corrosion rate" is not an exact science and that the city is spending $40 million on sewer system improvements that will lengthen the life of the pipes. Asked by a reporter if the aging system would mean more of these kinds of problems in the future, Rolen responded: "I don't really know."
-- tex (email@example.com), February 07, 2001
They're to busy paying for that billion dollar NFL team.
-- David Williams (DAVIDWILL@prodigy.net), February 07, 2001.