Water Line Work

A leaky water line prompted an emergency repair and further investigation from the city of Union.

City Administrator Russell Rost said a pipe near the railroad tracks along West Park Road is leaking. The pipe provides water to Silgan Plastic Food Containers and Buddez, Inc.

Rost said after talking with city staff, he felt the pipe had the potential to burst which could case a complete water outage to several industrial users, including Silgan.

Rost said in the event of a failure, it could be days, if not weeks, before Silgan would have access to water. He said Silgan reports it loses $100,000 for every hour it has to suspend operations.

In order prevented that from happening, the city moved forward with a plan to instal a new valve. Under the city’s emergency provisions, Rost authorized the purchase of a 12-inch valve for $9,995.

The valve allowed businesses like Silgan to have water access even if the line failed, Rost said.

The next step is to repair the damaged line. Aldermen authorized an agreement with KJ Unnerstall Construction, Washington, to investigated the issue.

City Engineer Jonathan Zimmermann said the deal authorizes KJU to excavate and find the line. He said the city won’t know how bad the problem is until the leak is found.

Complicating things is the presence of the railroad tracks, Zimmermann added. The city is working with the railroad in case the repair is needed under the tracks.

The contract with KJU is on a time and material basis, Rost said. They city won’t know the full cost until the full problem is discovered.

“We hope it’s easy and done in a few days,” Rost said.

An update on the water line will be presented Monday night at the city parks, buildings, development and public service committee meeting.