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Grant will help repair sewer lines

A $500,000 grant will help fix faulty sewer lines in Clanton’s West End community.

Alabama Gov. Bob Riley’s office announced the available funds Monday.

The Community Development Block Grant will help repair 50-year-old sewer lines that have been overflowing or backing up the past year.

The lines are dated anyway, but recent rains have added more strain on the system, said Clanton Mayor Billy Joe Driver.

“The lines won’t take all the infiltration,” said Driver. “The lines just won’t take all the rain.”

Manholes in West End were overflowing last Thursday, Driver said.

The grant will first pay for workers to inspect the sewer system. Cameras will be passed through the lines to look for any problems. Smoke will also be pushed through to help find any places were water is escaping.

After the inspection, the money will also be used to help repair and replace lines.

Driver said the biggest problem areas would be targeted initially.

“We’ll get the worst ones first,” said Driver.

The project will impact about 400 people and 150 households.

The inspection process would only last a few weeks, and repairs would start soon after that and continue throughout the year, Driver said.

The process could potentially be delayed if heavy rains, which have already caused so many problems, continue.

“You can’t hardly test the line if it is overflowing with water,” Driver said.

2009 marked the third consecutive year Clanton had applied for the community development grant.

Clanton committed $75,000 in matching funds to help pay for the project.