HOXIE, ARKANSAS (KAIT) - The Hoxie sewer lines are starting to show their age, and in a couple of locations in town the concrete sewer lines have actually collapsed.
Over time the concrete has eroded and formed cracks, and then the cracks cause the pipes to collapse. There may be more in the city in the same condition. Mayor Lanny Tinker says so far they have had two major collapses on Broad Street and Affinity Street. "Sewer gas has eroded the top of some 8 inch sewer pipes out and we repaired several hundred feet. I've got a temporary in but there's more replacement of pipe that has to be done in that particular area. Again the same conditions and we have now contacted the Department of Agriculture to hire an engineer to come in and do some preliminary tests.
Tinker fears there may be more pipes like these that they don't know about. "Because we have to determine exactly what extent some of these 50 and 60 year-old pipes, what condition they are in so we know how to proceed."
Tinker says the problem may exist all over town, he says he has inherited a deferred maintenance nightmare.
Replacing an entire sewer system can run into millions. Tinker says major repairs are more than the city can afford by itself. "I don't believe there are Federal grants to do that inclusively now so there will be a combination where we will be looking for grants and loans there."
Tinker says they will be making a smoke survey of the lines in the spring to determine the actual condition of the system and go from there to the repair stage.