• 46°

Out with the old, in with the new: Stanford waterline improvement project continues

STANFORD — The project to replace Stanford’s aging water lines will continue through this year, but now Stanford residents have a new way to keep up with construction updates on their smartphones.

Ryan Owens, general manager of Stanford Water, provided an update on some work that has been completed and where crews are planning to be in the next few weeks, as well as some information about the new app.

“We’ve laid a little section out on Withers (Court) and Lee Drive,” Owens said. “We’ve started going across country towards the water plant and then coming back into town at Brock Drive.”

Monday this week, crews planned to begin work on Somerset Street, he said.

The utility company is also hoping to go ahead and replace lines in the areas where school traffic is heavy before the next school year begins.

Owens said many eight-inch cast iron lines are being replaced with 12-inch PVC lines.

“Other places in town will be going from one-to-two inch lines to six-inch lines,” he said. “We’ll have better protection for fire because we’re setting 30-plus new fire hydrants.”

The project will also provide 3,000 new radio read meters, which will show leak detection and daily use information.

The timeline for the project is about 300 days, Owens said, so it is expected to be completed next fall.

Unless the area receives a lot of snow or temperatures drop “extremely low”, Owens said the construction should be able to continue through the winter.

The water line improvement project is a $4.1 million-dollar project to replace almost 80,000 linear feet of the city’s aging water lines.

Of that total cost, $2,832,000 is funded through grants from the Kentucky Infrastructure Authority (KIA), Rural Development (RD) and the Appalachia Regional Commission (ARC).

“70 percent of that is grant money,” Owens said. “It’s almost unheard of for that to happen.”

An additional $1,268,000 in low-interest loans from KIA and RD helped fund the project as well.

The project has allowed the utility company to replace lines that have been in the ground since the 1930s to the 1950s, Owens said.

“We’ve been very lucky, knock on wood,” Owens said. “This being the second oldest city in the state, we’re going to run into the second oldest utilities.”

Overall, the project will improve many aspects of daily life for customers and residents, Owens said.

“We’re doing it for public safety reasons, better fire protection, obviously the water quality is going to be a lot better because it’s coming through bigger lines,” he said.

Dust, which was a major issue for residents during a construction project on Danville Avenue in the past, shouldn’t be an issue this time around, Owens said.

“Obviously now we’re working with a different engineering company than we were with Danville Avenue,” he said. “One of the things we did with this company and with the contractor is put in more stringent regulations in the contract books for dust control.”

The next major goal will be on the sewer side, Owens said, and the utility company is working towards gathering funding for improvements now.

New app provides construction updates

Stanford Water customers can now keep up with all kinds of water-related information thanks to a new application for smartphones.

The SWWAdvisory app can be downloaded for free from the App Store.

The app also provides a way to pay water bills, with a link to the utility’s online bill pay website in the upper right hand corner of the app.

Using the bill-pay service does include a service fee of $2.25.

In addition to boil water advisory notifications, the app will also provide customers with construction updates including road closures and locations of where crews will be working at given times.

“We’ve really tried to do this to help with this project and other things because we can keep people informed about where we’re going, if we’re going to be closed and things of that nature,” Owens said.

For any customers who are experiencing issues or have questions about the ongoing water line project, Owens said they can contact the water office directly and leave a name, address and phone number.

The app is available for free on both Apple and Android devices.