The City of Evanston’s Utilities Department is rehabilitating the combined sewer on Cleveland Street, from Pitner Avenue west through the Sam’s Club parking lot.

Traffic on the 2200 block of Cleveland will be reduced to one lane to create space and a safe work zone for the pumping operation. This work will include overnight operations from tonight through Saturday.

The city has contracted with Insituform Technologies USA, LLC to rehabilitate the approximately 900 feet of 57- and 60-inch diameter combined sewer mains on the street.

Rehabilitation work includes installing a cured-in-place pipe liner inside the existing sewer main. This process generally does not require any excavation, and work can be completed much faster than if the sewer were excavated and replaced.

However, by-pass pumping of the sewer main is necessary and will impact parking and traffic on Cleveland Street between Pitner and Hartrey. A 12-inch pipe will be placed on the street along the south curb line with ramps to allow traffic to continue to flow.

Insituform’s work site is within the Sam’s Club parking lot. Insituform and their subcontractor, Sheridan Plumbing, have already begun cleaning the sewers. “No Parking” signs were posted April 8 in the 2200 block of Cleveland Street to allow for the setup of the by-pass pumping of the sewer main. Removal of the by-pass pumping equipment and piping will occur after the sewer main is rehabilitated and is expected to be completed the week of April 22.

The resins used in the lining process are not new. They are the same resins used in the fiberglass industry for many years. These resins contain a chemical called styrene that hardens when heated. Although styrene is not a pleasant odor, city officials say it is not dangerous at the levels at which people can detect it.

Residents who smell the styrene while the contractor’s personnel are working in your area, should not be alarmed. To help prevent the smell from occurring in a resident’s building, a gallon of water can be poured into each basement floor drain. This keeps the trap full and prevents sewer gases from coming into your building. Because the water in the drain trap evaporates, this practice should be done regularly.

This work is part of a larger project to improve the reliability of the combined sewer system in several areas. This project is being funded from the Southwest Tax Increment Finance fund, which will allow the city to complete the project without raising sewer rates.

This project will be monitored and inspected by the City of Evanston’s Utilities Department. Questions can be directed to Mark Steinbuck, sewer division supervisor, at 847-448-8219.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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