Latest phase of Bath water line project begins

by Trish Rudder

Supplies have arrived to complete the last of the Phase IV water line replacement project and construction is ready to begin.

Ron Jainniney, manager of the Berkeley Springs Water Works (BSWW), the town-owned water department, said on Monday that pipe replacements in the Merrywoods Drive area were to begin this Tuesday, August 9.

The Thrasher Engineering inspector on the project said the construction company, Pro-Contracting began working on a staging area on U.S. 522 on Monday and that equipment and piping is still coming in.

Jainniney said last week that the pipeline upgrades will take place in the areas of Merrywoods, Berryville, Johnson Mill Road and Cornelius Avenue.

Cornelius Avenue will be done last, he said.

The PVC replacement pipes will be eight inch down to one inch and will vary, he said. Six-inch pipes are the ones most used.

The project “is a basic upgrade in these areas,” Jainniney said and is not like the leaking old pipes replaced in phases I, II and III.

Since the water department began replacing the old leaking pipes, and three phases have been completed, Jainniney said, there have been no problems with leaking pipes other than by an accident caused by others.

The town has only a 6% percent water loss, he said. The state average is 15%.

Finishing Phase IV of the water line replacement project started moving forward with the approval of a Small Cities Block Grant of $1.5 million in December 2018.

The BSWW had kept $500,000 in its Reserve and Replacement account to round out the $2 million estimated project cost. But the Covid-19 pandemic interfered with moving the project forward and the lack of supplies has hampered the project’s completion.

The contractor has 180 days to complete the project and then the areas will be repaved, Jainniney said.