LaFayette Dam upgraded: Main pipeline reconnected after flood damage

Published 8:30 am Wednesday, April 19, 2023

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LaFayette’s water plant’s permanent main pipeline was reconnected last week after the damage caused by the flooding on March 27. 

Last Tuesday, the city council ordered four new pipes for the city dam and did a rush order for two of them. It will likely be another week and a half before the pipes will arrive. After the water drained, the city discovered more damage to the city water plant than anticipated. 

Two of the four other pipes at the dam are currently keeping the water from overflowing, but Mayor Kenneth Vines said they cannot withstand another heavy rainfall like in March.

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“Right now, we’re having to keep our fingers crossed that we won’t have another two or three-day rain nonstop,” Vines said. 

According to Vines, the USDA will be able to allot over $1 million in funds for the project. However, as of now, the city has already spent $97,000 on the main pipeline.

“That’s just for the pipe. That’s not counting the labor and all that,” Vines said.

Hudmon Construction has already completed $555,000 to $600,000 worth of work on the project. 

County Engineer Josh Harvill spoke with the city clerk about a program through the highway department.

FEMA visited the damage in LaFayette last week to determine if they can help with the funding for damage done to bridges on Hospital Street and Alabama Avenue E. A portion of Hospital Street has barriers up while the city waits to make repairs. 

“FEMA did look at that last week, and they’ll be letting us know about funding that project for us,” Vine said.

The city water plant is no longer using the temporary pipe repair. The area is still being filled in with dirt from the site of the dam. The boil water notice has been lifted since the end of March.

“The water is safe to drink,” Vines said. “We received a letter from ADEM a few days after that saying everything was good, no bacteria.”

After the main pipeline was damaged, LaFayette began purchasing water from Huguley Water. The city was receiving about half of what the citizens generally required. Huguley Water provided 288,000 gallons of water to LaFayette per day.