Missouri American Water is working on many Maplewood streets, laying new water mains and installing new service transfers. The work began in the spring, and some residents are frustrated.
One wrote to the water company, copying 40 South:
I am writing you to express my deep frustrations with MO American Water and your work on 7400 Block of Maple Ave in Maplewood MO. It has been since APRIL when the work started and it is still not completed. All summer long, we had to deal with dust, destroyed road and unfinished work. All these issue had negative health impact on people living on the block, some, who are allergic to dust. Never mind the quality of lives for our kids, who cannot play outside…
Missouri American Water External Affairs Manager Brian Russell responded to a request for an update with a letter to Maplewood residents, including a street-by-street update on the five streets undergoing work.
See the street updates here: Maplewood Project Update Oct 24th 2018
Dear Maplewood Residents:
PHASE I: INSTALL PIPE AND TESTECM Construction, LLC (ECM) has been contracted by Missouri American Water Company (MAWC) to install new water mains in your community. We started in late May and will continue working thru various phases of the project over the next several months.
As of the end of July we had all 6,500’ of pipe installed and tested. Optically it may seem we have been gone for a period, but I would like to explain further. We moved to a different portion of the project. Crossing Big Bend three times to tap/loop the system. Not something to take lightly. I can tell you it was successful, and all the men are safe. First phase complete let’s move to the next.
PHASE II: TRANSFER SERVICES
This phase is extremely important as it is very time consuming and requires the help of the community. It’s ECM’s understanding that the agreements (lead service line transfers) from Missouri American Water Company has been issued to the relevant homeowners. MAWC requires that these forms are signed before we can continue with said lead service transfers. Simply put, the longer it takes to get the signed agreements back, the longer it will take for project completion. ECM and MAWC are working jointly to secure the missing agreements.
In conjunction with the lead service line transfers we also need to transfer the copper lines from the old main to the new main. Yes, we will dig the main back up. Services are not installed during the piping phase because the main has not been tested for bacteria yet. This is a public safety concern and a requirement by Missouri Department of Natural Resources.
To be clear, the main gets installed, then tested and then services transferred. We have approximately 170 services to transfer currently. Our goal is to complete all on transfers on one street, so we can move to the next street and begin restoration on first street. This way at least some residents are returning to normal faster vs everyone be disturbed for the entire duration of the project.
PHASE III: RESTORATION
After the service lines have been fully transferred, we can start restoring the neighborhood to its previous condition. This is a stair-stepped process. For example, once we finish connections to the water services on the first street, we will move to the next area for connection, and then begin restoration on the first street. We will repeat this process until the project is complete. We have been working hard and will continue to do so until we’re finished.
We still have a lot of work ahead of us and look forward to completing the improvements to the Community. As of now, I think it will be the end of November 2018 before the project is complete. As I stated earlier, this is a progressive or stair stepped project. I assure you that we will continue to make our best effort to minimize the inconveniences associated with the project and get the neighborhood back to its prior condition as soon as possible.
Lastly and on a less personal note I would like to lay out the financial benefits to the city of Maplewood. Starting in late January 2018 going thru the completion of the current project ECM will have installed approximately 12,200’ of pipe and 300 hundred service transfers at a cost in the millions paid for by MAWC. Ultimately this is an infrastructure upgrade that is good for your community. As we all know ageing infrastructure is a major concern nationwide and in St. Louis. This is also why MSD has been upgrading sewers in the area. My point is that the upgraded infrastructure is not being paid thru higher taxes and or bond issues directly from the residents of Maplewood. I understand it’s a disruption and inconvenient however it’s a need that is being addressed.
Sincerely, Shawn M. McMullen, firstname.lastname@example.org, (636)-428-4716