The Magnolia City Council voted on Monday, Feb. 28, to replace a majority of the city’s cast iron water mains.
This is the second phase of a project to replace the old cast iron water mains in Magnolia with more modern hardware. The new main lines will be made of PVC like those put in during the first phase.
Mayor Parnell Vann said this project and the previous phase were brought forth due to issues with the water caused by the old pipes.
Vann said the cast iron pipes were installed in the 40’s and were not made to last.
“Before the first phase, there was a main on West Monroe Street… The pipe was six inches, but due to corrosion that occurred over the years, it had become only four inches. It was so bad that one of the fire hydrants did not even work,” Vann said. “One of my main jobs and concerns as mayor is to deliver everyone in the city clean drinking water. That may not have always have happened in the past, but by replacing these lines, I can make that happen.”
With new lines have come new hydrants that inform the city of leaks, similar to new water meters that have been installed locally that do not require checking on-site. Vann said the new water meters allow the city to know when a Magnolia resident has a water leak and help inform them of issues occurring with the water on their property.
Vann also noted that while the cast iron mains are being replaced, the supply lines on residents’ property will not be; he said property owners are responsible for updating the lines on their property between their homes and the main line.
The project will update the existing main lines so 75% of the city’s water mains are made with modern materials.
RBIS LLC, a Texarkana-based contracting firm, will replace the mains. The company previously replaced the cast iron water mains in the city during the first phase of the project.
The cost of the replacement will be $2,145,625, based on the bid from RBIS.
The construction project should take about a year, Andy Franks, president of A.L. Franks Engineering, which presented the new pipes, said.
The cost will be covered by federal COVID-19 relief funds disbursed to Magnolia through the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security) Act and should cost the city of Magnolia nothing, Vann said.
The Magnolia City Council voted unanimously to move forward with the second phase of the main replacement project.