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Wastewater could leak from Ventnor sewer line break for next couple of days
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Wastewater could leak from Ventnor sewer line break for next couple of days

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Sewer

Work crews repair a sewer line in a six-block section of Wellington Avenue between Dorset and Victoria avenues in Ventnor on Monday.

VENTNOR — A sewer line leak that temporarily closed the Dorset Avenue bridge and a section of Wellington Avenue and has led to detours in Ventnor Heights could take up to a month to repair, officials said Tuesday.

Progress on repairs to the sewer main break, which was reported Sunday, continue, Atlantic County Utilities Authority spokesperson Amy Menzel said.

“Pumps will be put into place to alleviate flooding around the damaged sewer line. Detours are in place to enable access to the Ventnor shopping plaza and Atlantic City. Vehicle, bicycle and pedestrian traffic is prohibited in this area of Wellington Avenue, and people are asked to avoid walking, biking and driving through flooded areas,” Menzel said in a statement.

There is no immediate health risk, and it doesn’t affect the safety of the drinking water, Menzel said.

The ACUA’s emergency contractor, Lafayette Utilities, has been making progress on excavation for the bypass line, Menzel said. The second location for the bypass connection has been determined, and excavation is underway.

Bypass piping is on site and is being fused together, and preparations are being made to attach the fused pipe to the bypass line when the specialized tapping equipment is delivered, Menzel said.

The tapping saddles are anticipated to be installed and the fused pipe connected Thursday, which would enable the activation of the bypass by Friday night, Menzel said.

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To relieve the flooding on Wellington Avenue and nearby side streets, Lafayette has ordered two large pumps and related piping to drain and move wastewater off the streets, Menzel said.

Police Chief Doug Biagi made the decision Monday to inconvenience some in detouring streets rather than have vehicles go down roads that were flooded with raw sewage.

“Because of where the leak occurred, I was limited on my detour options, but stand by my decision,” Biagi said on social media. “We will get through this, just as we do every other natural and personal disaster that comes Ventnor’s way. Please be patient and compassionate.”

The six-block section of Wellington between Dorset and Victoria avenues was closed Sunday to vehicle and pedestrian traffic after the ACUA learned of the leak.

The leak is somewhere along the 12-inch sewer main, and there is a collapse in the roadway. Police suspect recent pile-driving activity related to home raising in the area may have contributed to the damage, Biagi said previously.

The road surface will have to be torn up to find and repair the leak, Biagi said.

Raw sewage spewing into the streets around the city near Atlantic City is a huge health risk, said Jeff Tittel, director of the New Jersey Sierra Club.

“It is flooding the streets just a few blocks from the bay. This is because of the DEP’s (Department of Environmental Protection) failure to invest and upgrade aging infrastructure and to protect our coasts from pollution. The aging infrastructure in Atlantic County plus storm surges and sea-level rise make everything worse,” Tittel said in a statement.

Contact Vincent Jackson: 609-272-7202

vjackson@pressofac.com

Twitter@ACPressJackson

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