A Study Underway To See If Park Points Pipes Can Handle Possible Hotels

By KBJR News 1

March 14, 2012 Updated Mar 14, 2012 at 5:40 PM CDT

Duluth, MN - (Northland's NewsCenter) - A study is underway to see if the underground infrastructure on Park Point is fit to handle two new hotels.

The study will confirm the level of pressures and flow that would be available during average, peak and fire conditions if the two hotels were to be built.

City officials want to make sure the current service and flow Park Point residents have now would not be affected.

City Engineers say they're focusing on the size of the pipes...and whether the pressure will drop if a hotel is booked to capacity and using a lot of water during a peak hour.

The lower zone of Park Point was last reviewed and modeled back in the 1980's.

The water main pipes were actually installed in 1960.

Roughly 50% of Duluth's pipes are 80-years old or older...but since Park Point is all sand, they don't have the corrosion issues caused by clay soil that plague other parts the city.

"The sanitary sewer systems in good shape on Park Point, the lift stations out there have just been upgraded, another lift stations slated to be upgraded very soon, so we have capacity on the sanitary sewer side. On the water side I believe we also have adequate capacity, but since there are proposed two hotels, we thought it best to be conservative and check it out," says Duluth's Chief Engineer Utilities, Chad Shaffer.

Shaffer says if there are repairs that are needed the hotel's developer will be required to make them prior to breaking ground.

Written for the web by Danyel Piecek.