Pipe pops under pressure

Debbie Rolen Staff Writer

August 28, 2013

Anyone near the site of a test conducted on fittings for a new sewer pipe buried in front of the Logan County Board of Education said it sounded like an explosion when part of it popped out of the ground and into the air, spraying water and gravel everywhere.

The vehicle belonging to Lydia Vannatter, a Logan County Board of Education employee, was peppered with water, rock and gravel, but was spared being hit by the pipe when it came down.

When it first happened, the water company was called and by the time they determined it wasn’t theirs, Jeff Kraschnellski, with Rover Construction, said he was on his way home.

The section of pipe that popped out of the ground is actually used to clear the line whenever it is clogged up. This is only one of several that have been installed in the new sewer line being installed by Rover Construction.

Kraschnellski said these are bigger than the usual six-inch pipes, this project calls for twelve-inch pipes. He said he had never seen one of these fail. “This was the lower one, it would have more pressure. The cap is just down from it a little ways. There’s one here, one 400 feet from here and then another 400 feet and there’s another one. We’ve got six coming around on the other side of the river yet to be installed, so I need to find out why this one failed before installing those.”

E. L. Robinson Construction Inspector Rob Robinson said the lines were being tested at 100 pounds per square inch when it failed. He said he had seen successful tests conducted on lines like these at 300 pounds per square inch.

The pipe and fittings were being disassembled and examined in an effort to determine what went wrong so they can avoid problems like this as they work to complete the project.

The men all said they were thankful nobody was hurt or killed when the pipe failed and Kraschnellski said, “Cars and buildings can be replaced, people can’t be replaced.”