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Water main replacement project underway in Dover

Water Main Replacement Road Closure.jpg
Kelli Steele

A nine-month-long water main replacement project is underway in Dover.

The $2.8 million project was identified as part of Dover’ master water plan according to Jason Lyon - the director of water and wastewater for the City of Dover.

“We are replacing undersized and aged water mains throughout the City of Dover - one to increase the capacity of the water lines, which provides more fire suppression and assistance to the residents in case of emergency, as well as potentially for future development,” he said.

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Lyon says the current pipes are made of 60-year-old cast iron; the new pipes will be PVC.

Lyon calls the cast iron a “fine material.”

“However, when you introduce treated water. And by treated, I mean it’s water that’s been introduced with chlorine, which is a State requirement. It creates a chemical reaction whereas there is a brown film that kind of builds up inside of the cast iron pipe. And normally when the water is moving in the right - in the current, standard direction - that film stays on the inside of that pipe,” he said.

Lyon says the problem arises when water changes direction - like a fire hydrant being used or a water leak - that brown film starts to “flake” off.

He notes it’s not dangerous to drink, but it’s “aesthetically unpleasing”.

The first phase of the work on North State Street between Pennsylvania Avenue to Clara Street will continue for the next three months.

Once that section is done, phase two will see pipes replaced between Clara Street and Cecil Street. Phase three will be from Cecil Street to Division Street.

Kelli Steele has over 30 years of experience covering news in Delaware, Baltimore, Winchester, Virginia, Phoenix, Arizona and San Diego, California.