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The Fredericktown City Council was updated on the status of the city's sewer blockages by City Administrator James Settle during a recent meeting.

"Like we said, we knew there was a problem down there somewhere and there was," Settle said. "It was a lot of problems. The roots had grown through the joints of the pipes."

Settle said the pipes are original to the town and have lived their life.

"They have done what they were intended to and still continue, but the town has grown a lot since they were put in," Settle said. "As of right now, everything is flowing good but the problem is those pipes were never meant for a town this size."

Settle said the city brought in Visu-Sewer to clean out the problem pipe as well as photograph any issues it came across. He said the photographs showed areas of roots that created essentially a solid obstruction.

"It amazed me because you would think it would have stopped up and eventually not let any water through as blocked as it was," Settle said. "I don't know how it got through. It was pretty much a solid block of wood."

Settle said during previous clean-outs, crews would hit obstructions but would believe it to be broken clay pipes and would back out without further investigation. 

"The repairs have already been better during the last few rains we have seen," Settle said. "We have improved the issue many, many, many times, but it is still not 100 percent."

Settle said the plan is to perform maintenance on the pipes twice a year to prevent the roots from growing back into the pipes and to look forward at the possibility of laying a new one in the future.

"I think our plan is to put a new pipe, a bigger one, in down there," Settle said. "It won't get fixed overnight, it's a long drawn out process and it would cost millions of dollars to do."

Settle said the new pipe would probably be laid next to the old one and there is still debate on whether or not to split the line into two or make the pipe much larger.

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Victoria Kemper is a reporter for the Daily Journal. She can be reached at 573-783-3366 or at vkemper@democratnewsonline.com

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