Main distribution pipe to be replaced

WEIRTON – The Weirton Area Water Board, Thursday, unanimously approved a tentative schedule through August 2016 for work on the distribution pipeline from the city’s water treatment plant.

The updated schedule and options regarding phase two of repairs were summarized by Jonathan Carpenter of Thrasher Engineering.

Phase one of the project is the installation of a parallel line. Carpenter outlined three alternatives for phase two.

The first is to replace the water line at the water treatment plant, which would involve 18 feet of digging and then connecting it to service lines and hydrants through town at a cost of $2.4 million. The second option is the same, but with the addition of lining inside the pipe for 50 percent of its length. The third option is to line 100 percent of the new pipe, which would cost a total of $6.9 million.

The timeline takes into account previous debts that will come into maturity in 2015, making the cost of these upgrades feasible.

“This gives us an opportunity to get a plan of action in place to upgrade without influencing rates overwhelmingly,” Utilities Director A.D. Mastrantoni noted. “The important thing is that we don’t just wait for another failure.”

The board also approved the purchase of a new snow plow for $4,500. According to Sam Stoneking Jr., assistant director of the board, they have been relying on two backhoes to plow access roads around the water treatment plant. These backhoes cause potholes and damage to pavement, so the new plow would save money on lot repairs in the long run.

In addition, the board voted to purchase two vehicles for a total of no more than $7,500. They are intended to replace two trucks that broke down during the past year.

Members of the board unanimously voted to move forward with the purchase of a new special application pump for the Weircrest Pump Station at the price of $16,310. The new pump will be installed and the old one will be kept as a spare for the future.

(Dalrymple can be reached at