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Good Morning Atmore!

By By Robbie Byrd, News Editor
70.8 miles of pipelines and an earthquake five years ago don't make for a good mix, or so the Atmore Utilities Board found out in its recently released leakage survey.
Over 60 grade one leaks, the most hazardous leaks that call for immediate repair, were found in the Atmore Utilities Board's lines.
In addition, the survey completed by Lisco, an independent survey company, found 263 grade two and 51 grade three leaks. While these leaks do not require immediate repair, the board is working to fix these as well.
These leaks have been the cause of much inconvenience for many area residents. Pothole lined streets all over the city have been the direct result of the repairs.
Director Tom Wolfe said that all Grade 1 leaks in the city have been repaired, and that his department is working feverously to fix the remaining leaks.
The board hopes to have all leaks repaired by Sept. 1.
Wolfe said that his department is hardly at fault.
The board completes a survey of all its gas lines every five years to determine leakage areas and have them repaired. For the 1997 inspection, no grade one leaks were discovered, and only 44 grade two leaks were found. In the 1992 survey, only one grade one leak and 39 grade two leaks were found.
Wolfe said that the pipes in most of the city are galvanized and much older, accounting for the problems they encountered following the earthquake.
The board is responsible for fixing the pipes, but Wolfe said he has turned over the responsibility of repairing the roads over to the city street department.
Wolfe said the report of leaks came as a complete shock to him.
Wolfe said that his department has purchased the same equipment the surveyors used, and it should be in use soon.
Works are also in the way to replace the old galvanized lines throughout the city.
Sewer lines affected
With the completion of sewer projects just wrapping up throughout the city, it looks as though more could be underway.
Following reports of the gas leakage, the board has begun to investigate leaks in its sewer system.
Crews were on hand along Liberty Street this week using a robotic camera device to look for cracks and other defects in the sewer line that ran along that street.
While an official report isn't expected anytime soon, the survey of the Liberty street section showed several cracks, including plant and tree roots bursting through the system.
Wolfe said the board's next project will be to investigate this as well.
robbie.byrd@atmoreadvance.com