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CITY OF KINGSTON

Office of the City Engineer


rswenson@kingston-ny.gov

Ralph E. Swenson, P.E., City Engineer


Steven T. Noble, Mayor
__________________________________________________________________________________________
February 23, 2016

Dear Resident:
On November 9, 2015 a possible sanitary sewer overflow was detected at the Washington Avenue Tunnel
Stormwater Outfall to the Twaalfskill Creek at Gilead Street; water samples were taken to confirm our suspicion and
quantify our response. Upon confirmation, City forces initiated disinfection just upstream of the outfall, and
inspected both remotely and with a manned entry, at two locations along the length of the Washington Ave. Tunnel,
the Tannery Brook Stormwater Shaft and the Elizabeth Street Stormwater Shaft. Inspection confirmed that the
sanitary contamination was originating from the separated sanitary sewer portion of the Washington Ave. Tunnel
between the Tannery Brook Shaft and Lucas Ave.; entering the Washington Ave. Tunnel Stormwater Chamber
through the 24 diameter access portal connecting the separated sanitary sewer and the stormwater chamber through
the headwall located at the base of the Tannery Brook Stormwater Shaft.
The sanitary overflow into the stormwater chamber was diverted back into the sanitary sewer just upstream from the
base of the Elizabeth Street Stormwater Shaft via a penetration through the floor of the Washington Ave. Tunnel
Stormwater Chamber into the sanitary sewer below.

Diversion Back
into the Sanitary
Sewer

This diversion location was chosen to eliminate stormwater impacts of both the Greenkill Ave. Stormwater Shaft
and the Elizabeth Street Stormwater Shaft. At the same time the Tannery Brook was fully diverted around the
Tannery Brook Shaft to eliminate stormwater inflow into the overflowing sanitary in the Washington Ave. Tunnel
below, and to protect manpower and equipment from possible engulfment while working in the Tunnel. For this
reason, some localized flooding has occurred along the Tannery Brook both upstream of Washington Ave. due to the
reduced capacity of the diversion piping around the Tannery Brook Shaft, and downstream of Washington Ave. due

City Hall 420 Broadway Kingston, New York 12401 (845) 334-3967 www.kingston-ny.gov

CITY OF KINGSTON
Office of the City Engineer
rswenson@kingston-ny.gov

Ralph E. Swenson, P.E., City Engineer


Steven T. Noble, Mayor
__________________________________________________________________________________________
to the higher flows generally not seen in that section of the Brook because of the previous stormwater diversions that
took place at the Tannery Brook Shaft.
Over the past two months our Contractor has done multiple manned tunnel entries, removing a number of partial
sewer blockages from the sanitary sewer invert, and working to install an adequate pumped sewer bypass around the
blockage to allow removal efforts from within the separated sewer portion of the Tunnel upstream of the Tannery
Brook Shaft.

Opening between
Separated Sanitary
Sewer and
Stormwater
Chamber

Sanitary Sewer
Invert at Headwall
below Tanner
Brook Stormwater
Shaft

Efforts to dewater the separated sanitary portion of the Tunnel upstream of the Tannery Brook Shaft have not been
successful due to plugging of the pumps and our inability to maintain them due to confined space constraints;
therefore our efforts to clear the blockage have been refocused to points below, where access is more remote.
In 2013 the 24 sanitary sewer between the Tannery Brook Shaft and a location approximately 185 downstream
was relined with a fiberglass liner to rehabilitate that portion of the sewer. During the relining work, an access panel
between the stormwater chamber and the sanitary sewer at approximately 186 was established to facilitate the
relining process. We are currently taking advantage of that access to the sanitary sewer to identify the location of the
blockage and the material to be removed, and to insert routing tools to effect removal of the blockage.

City Hall 420 Broadway Kingston, New York 12401 (845) 334-3967 www.kingston-ny.gov

CITY OF KINGSTON
Office of the City Engineer
rswenson@kingston-ny.gov

Ralph E. Swenson, P.E., City Engineer


Steven T. Noble, Mayor
__________________________________________________________________________________________

Failed
Fiberglass
Liner Pipe

Cement
Grout
Intrusion

As you can see, the fiberglass liner has failed and allowed grout from the ground improvement project completed in
November to infiltrate into the sanitary sewer and ultimately block the flow.
Remote access to this work area is from downstream approximately 1200 via the Elizabeth Street Stormwater Shaft
where we will be utilizing jet trucks that provide pressurized water via a 1 hose through the Tunnel to hydraulically
drive specialized tools. I regret the noise these trucks create, but I feel this is now our best option to remove the
blockage and return our deep sewer system to operation.
We believe there is in excess of 100 of sewer to clear of debris.
A special boring tool is expected on-site Wednesday, February 24, at which time we will restart operations at the Elizabeth
Street Stormwater Shaft. Progress is expected to be slow, but continuous, and until we see the rate of progress in the field I
cant suggest an end-date at this point, only to say that we are working as quickly as safety allows.
Again, I apologize for the inconvenience I know youve endured by this unforeseen circumstance, and if you have any
additional questions please feel free to give me a call.
Sincerely,
Ralph

City Hall 420 Broadway Kingston, New York 12401 (845) 334-3967 www.kingston-ny.gov