sinkhole hose add

Pierre city workers began work on the sewer pipe failure that caused a sinkhole in Griffin Park in mid-July. Here workers tried to pump out ground water on July 19 from a 12-foot hole near the Missouri River. A piece of the failed clay pipe can be seen in the foreground.

(UPDATE: On Friday, Nov. 8, Brooke Bohnenkamp, city spokeswoman, said the request for voluntary reduction of water use was lifted.)

The repair of Pierre’s problematic sewer main in Griffin Park is getting close to completion, which means moving the above-ground bypass system to other manholes than the one at the intersection of Ree and Missouri.

On Thursday, the city asked residents to reduce water use through Friday, Nov. 8, to help out.

Just delaying the use of washers and dishwashers and not showering or bathing during the normal early morning hours will do a lot to help, said Utilities Director Brad Palmer.

‘The last few feet of the mainline sewer pipe are about ready to be dug in to their 10-foot depth in Griffin Park,” he said Thursday.

But first, the above ground bypass of hoses and diesel pumps needs to be shifted from the manhole at the corner of Ree Street and Missouri Avenue where it has been since July, to some nearby manholes, he said.

Less water use will make the switch easier, he said.

The failure of the old 24-inch sanitary sewer main in Griffin Park showed up in mid-July. High water and a wet season not only helped the old clay pipes fail but posed problems for fixing it.

But it’s necessary, because the mainline carries about two-thirds of the city’s sewage on its last few blocks to the water treatment plant.

It’s getting late in the season and the above-ground bypass that has worked pretty well since mid-summer won’t work when temperatures plummet, according to Palmer.

“We don’t have any concerns with the weather right now,” he said, Thursday, of the seven-day forecast for warmer and not wet weather. “If all goes well, we should be getting this buttoned up in a week or so.”

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