Budget Box: Storm Drain Repairs

By Shari Haldeman - sharih@landings.org
General Manager/COO

During development, corrugated pipes of various sizes were installed throughout the community’s storm drain system, mostly in the oldest phases of The Landings. Historically, corrugated metal pipes have a high failure rate due their exposure to saltwater intrusion when the pipes are used as an outfall into the marsh, thus aging much quicker than concrete pipes. To date, we have identified 37 locations where corrugated pipes exist in the system that require repair and/or replacement using CIPP (cured in place pipe) lining or other conventional replacement(s). Our staff team developed a storm drain inspection and repair program which has included the repair and replacement of storm drains beginning along the eastern coast in the Marshwood phase of the community (near the marsh outfalls) and continuing inward. This annual program is funded through the Capital Reserves. Although staff plan and budget for storm drain repairs each year, there are times where we encounter unbudgeted emergency repairs.

   In addition, The Landings Association budgets for storm drain repair and maintenance. This routine maintenance includes street sweeping, jetter/vacuuming, and camera studies. The primary purpose of street sweeping is to ensure that all streets are routinely free of debris that otherwise would enter the storm drain system and impede the flow, creating backup and flooding. Moreover, one-third of the entire storm drain system throughout the community is inspected and/or cleared each year of debris and roots through the jetter/vacuum team operation.

These preventive maintenance operations are critical to the functionality of the storm water management system. The Public Works Department continues to evaluate sections of storm drains to better assess potential system failures. While the Department does its best to maintain the 47 miles of storm drains within the community, unplanned repairs have increased due to the aging system and can be quite costly.

  The 2021 budget includes $596,496 for storms drains maintenance and repairs. However, the year-end estimate for storm drain repairs and maintenance is close to $700,000, due to unforeseen failures. To reduce costs, the Public Works Department does some repairs in-house, including pouring concrete to replace broken storm drain covers. We also are currently evaluating the purchase of  a camera system to provide staff with the flexibility to quickly identify blockages and/or separation of pipes in-house prior to contracting any necessary repairs. The total cost of this camera system is $39,000. This purchase will eliminate the cost of relying on a contractor for the camera service. The 2022 budget is projected to include $550,532 for the storm drains maintenance and repair program.

This article was originally published by The Landings Association on their website.

Visit landings.org to read the original article.