Boro working to fix water line breaks


SPOTSWOOD — A rash of water line breaks has officials working to ease the help residents of Williard Clark Circle.

The borough has solicited bids for the replacement of water lines in the area that makes up the five blocks in the Williard Clark Circle development, according to Councilwoman Marge Drozd, who resides in the area. There have been at least 12 water line breaks since the beginning of the year, and it is believed that the breaks led to water discoloration for some residents.

The Borough Council recently rejected a bid package that would have replaced the pipes and performed water relining and cleaning in the Clover Estates areas. The bid came in far higher than officials anticipated, according to Council President Curtis Stollen, though it was the relining costs that really put the dollar amount out of reach.

Stollen said the borough would collect new bids for the relining this winter in order to get more competitive costs.

However, the borough already went out to bid again for the replacement pipes, which Spotswood deemed to be an emergency purchase.

Drozd said the portion of piping in need of replacement runs from the Daniel Road water treatment facility, through some woods and wetlands, to the Willard Clark Circle area.

She said the breaks have occurred at various times of day and the water that is leaked turns the land into “soup.” The culprit is a “fragile” pipe about 50 years old, which may not have been properly constructed. When such beaks occur, it takes hours to dig and find the exact trouble spot, and costs the town in manpower, she said. In addition, the clamps necessary to fix the leaks are expensive.

Stollen said the borough is having so many breaks with such dire consequences that it considers the situation an emergency and will not wait for permits before proceeding.

“The pipe is broken a lot and costing a lot,” he said.

When such breaks occur, the town needs to turn the water off for a day or longer in order to fit the pipe, he said.

The bids, which were rejected during a special meeting held at the end of August, came in higher because the companies doing the relining are in great demand, especially during that time of year, Stollen said. The work must be performed before the weather gets cold.