WILLIAMSTOWN -- Despite it being over three months since Tropical Storm Irene, the damage left behind is still causing problems for the Hoosac Water Quality District.
Chief Operator Bradley O. Furlon said Wednesday that after the storm, about 600 feet of steel sheeting covering a section of banking around the wastewater treatment plant moved dramatically, and now it's bowing out.
"The riverbank below the sheeting is gone, and the banking behind it is sliding down and pushing the sheeting out," he said.
While the impacted sheeting is about 600 feet in length, the area that is moving is about 400 feet, he said.
The section of riverbank the sheeting protects holds all the electrical infrastructure for the process control of the plant, and an eight-inch sewer main, Furlon said.
"The only thing the engineer can think of is that the soil on the riverbank is more of a clay and sandy material rather than a gravel material," he said. "We won't know until we have test borings done."
The sheeting was installed in 2008 after about 800 feet of riverbank was washed away by the Hoosic River in 2005.
Furlon said the sheeting did move a little bit about a year and a half ago.
While the damage caused by Tropical Storm Irene needs to be fixed, it's currently unclear what that fix will be, he said.
"Over the next couple of weeks, we plan to put a road in next to the sheeting so we can get a boring machine down there. The Williamstown Conservation Commission has looked at it, and there is going to need to be an emergency certification," he said.
He said the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Natural Resources Conservation Service are aware of the situation.
The district has already had to have three sections of riverbank repaired to protect a 42-inch sewer line that was exposed during the storm. The pipe carries wastewater from North Adams and parts of Clarksburg to the wastewater treatment plant on Simonds Road in Williamstown.
That project was completed on Oct. 28 at a cost of $214,250. District officials expect the Natural Resources Conservation Service will pay 75 percent of that bill.
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