Sewer work continues on South Broad Street in Kenbridge

Published 1:01 am Wednesday, October 26, 2022

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KENBRIDGE – Some Kenbridge residents might have noticed a strange smell in their homes over the last week. It’s a slight odor, one that reminds them of glue or pine rosin. Town officials say it comes from their latest maintenance project. 

Work is currently underway to update a sewer pipe on South Broad Street. The problem, as Kenbridge Town Manager Tony Matthews explains, is that the pipe, like other parts of the local infrastructure, is more than 50 years old at this point.

“As with all of the infrastructure in many small towns, the piping in the ground is dated to the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s in our general area,” Matthews said. 

Maintenance for South Broad Street 

With age, usage and the ground shifting from time to time, these pipes need repair and attention, Matthews added. 

“The major benefit to performing this type of upgrade is increasing the life of our sewer system by many years and the increase in performance is automatic,” he said.

And so, that’s what’s happening right now. There’s lining work going on, to complement the replacement of pipe sections on South Broad St., Shade St. and Tidewater Ave.,” Matthews said. 

Matthews, a life-long citizen of Lunenburg County who served in the US Navy, has lived in Kenbridge since 2007. He took the position of Town Manager in December 2019. These upgrades will help the overall system last several decades, he explained. 

“Once the new sections were installed to repair damaged sections and sections that were close to collapse, the process of lining inserts a sleeve into the sewer piping and then through a process, expands and seals all remaining joints, cracks, exposed areas, etc. with a one piece piping,” Matthews said. 

This project was funded through an entity knows a SERCAP (Southeast Rural Community Assistance Project) that helps municipalities with projects to help taxpayers lighten financial burdens of heavy repair bills.

What’s causing that smell in Kenbridge?

Now, about that smell we mentioned earlier. It’ll go away once the project is finished. Matthews said it’s just part of the repair process.

“There is a product that the sleeve is coated with that goes on the outside of the sleeve to enable it to be pulled through the existing piping with less chance of snagging and decreasing the friction of pulling long sections of the sleeve,” Matthews said. “This does have a distinct smell that may come through the sewer drainage system until cured. The curing generally takes only hours.”


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