In 2010, Mount Vernon launched two water main projects that would replace old pipes, increase capacity and significantly improve flow and pressure, not just of the homes near the projects but for the entire town.
Existing 4-inch water main was replaced with 8-inch main along B Avenue, from Third Street SE to Seventh Street SE. Along Highway 1, 4-inch main was replaced with 12-inch main from Sixth Street to Cass Street and with 8-inch pipe from Third to Sixth streets.
The B Avenue job site was residential in an older part of town with a narrow right of way and multiple trees that the city wanted saved. So the pipe was directionally drilled. The work at this job site significantly improved flow and water pressure. New hydrants along the line, combined with the improved flow, now made for adequate fire protection as well. The greatest challenge here was that the sanitary sewer line was shallow. So the city opted to televise the sewer to pinpoint the location of service connections, and the new water main was installed deeper than the sanitary line.
The Highway 1 portion of the project required coordination with the DOT. Plans called for keeping the roadway open in both directions throughout the project. So traffic control and safety were key priorities. Surprisingly, not all homes at this job site had service connections out front along the street; some had long service lines from the back of the lots. All service points were moved to the front as part of the project. Some of the main was directionally drilled because of landscaping and depth, and some was open-cut if the right of away was clear.
Once completed, these combined projects significantly improved water flow and pressure for the entire town -- plus, allowed for residential growth on the east side of town.