The above will be a familiar sight on West Fifth Street throughout the winter. The project deadline for the Fifth Street Water Line Replacement project is April 30. (DHI Media/Nancy Spencer)
The above will be a familiar sight on West Fifth Street throughout the winter. The project deadline for the Fifth Street Water Line Replacement project is April 30. (DHI Media/Nancy Spencer)
DELPHOS — Road closed signs and orange barrels will be the norm on West Fifth Street throughout the rest of the winter.

The city’s Fifth Street Water Line Replacement Project is underway with one block completed.

The project includes West Fifth Street from Main to west of State Street and Clay Street from Fifth Street to Sixth Street.

“Whenever you put a new water lines in you have to pressure test, bacteria test it, make sure that’s there no leaks in it and make sure it’s safe to drink,” Delphos Maintenance Superintendent Ben Suever said. “We’re going to go every one to two blocks, shut that down, complete it and so on. It’s not a small project We know some are frustrated with the detours and other stuff that goes with a project like this.”

The process isn’t complicated. Workers saw cut the road down thought the black top, concrete and any rebar and then excavate about six to six and a half feet of dirt.

“There’s always the unforeseen when you are digging down,” Suever said “We’ve run into gas lines we didn’t know were there. We ran into the wrong type water line. We thought is was a 6-inch, it was a 10-inch. When you’re digging six feet deep, that’s quite a bit of dirt to be excavated from that trench, too.”

When it’s all said and done, there will be 2,800 feet of new water line on Fifth Street and approximately 450 feet on Clay Street.

“That’s not counting all the crossovers and tie-ins were doing to make everything ready for any improvement that need made in the future,” Suever said. “We’re putting in new valves, fire hydrants, taps, services, etc. All water meters will also be outside in a meter pit so we won’t have to enter anyone’s home to do anything.”

Suever said the project is on schedule so far.

“We’ve hit couple of snags. One subcontractor got hit with COVID so that put them about a month behind just to do a bore for us. Once they get to Jefferson Street, it will be a smooth sailing with just home hookups,” he said.

The effort is a major improvement to the city’s infrastructure along Fifth Street, something Suever said the city hasn’t seen in some time.

“We are doubling the service and looping it from two other major water lines in town as well. It will also give better water value for usage and fire protection,” he said.

The average homeowner in Delphos has 3/4-inch service and some share that service with a neighbor.

“Sometimes you’ll notice water pressure drop when you’re in the shower if someone is running water somewhere else in the house. This will alleviate that issue. Resident in this area will notice an increase in their pressure,” he said. “This is a really good thing for the city of Delphos,” Suever said. “It really is.”

Suever said the price is right, too.

“There’s a lot of supplemental funding for this project as well,” Suever added. “The residents aren’t paying for the whole project. The city got a lot of money for the improvements.”

The project is expected to be completed by April 30.