11/19/04 — City will use high tech to plot map of new sewer system

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City will use high tech to plot map of new sewer system

By Barbara Arntsen
Published in News on November 19, 2004 2:00 PM

Goldsboro will soon use high technology to plot and maintain its sewer system.

City Council members voted Monday to spend $323,450 to create a map of Goldsboro's sewer system that would use global positioning satellites, or GPS. GPS is a constellation of satellites, developed and maintained by the U.S. Department of Defense.

The council also approved hiring the engineering firm of WK Dickson to complete the three-phase project.

The move toward a GPS system is something the council has been considering for some time.

At the council's February retreat, David Pond, a consultant with WK Dickson, said GPS was used for computer mapping systems because it didn't require a direct line of sight along the earth's surface to get accurate results.

City Manager Richard Slozak said that Goldsboro's sewer system was a model for the state.

"The state sends people to Goldsboro to look at our system because it's state-of-the-art," Slozak said. "This will complete our system."

The mapping will also fulfill state and federal requirements. "You have a collection system permit, so you must have a detailed map of the entire system," Pond said. "The permit requires it."

The city has a paper map of the sewer system, but Slozak acknowledged that it wasn't complete and was difficult to keep up to date.

"We don't know where all the sewer lines are, but we'll capture more data with this," Slozak said. "We have some long-time employees that really know the system, but when they're gone we'll lose a wealth of information."

The sanitary sewer system is estimated to contain 5,400 manholes, plus all the connecting pieces and parts.

To begin the project, WK Dickson will first make a list of the information the city needs to know about its sewer system. The information will then be loaded into the computer system. Once the system is set up, city employees will be trained by WK Dickson and can make updates daily.

After the system is mapped, it will help the city make repairs when necessary.

"If there's a break in the line, this will pinpoint where it is," Pond said. "The crews will know how to respond."

The project should be complete by September 2005.

Money to finance the project will come from the city's bond sale, which is slated to take place in March. On Monday the council agreed to borrow the $323,450 from the utility fund balance until the bond sale.