Pa. Contractor Deftly Leads Sewer Main Break Repairs

Wed March 13, 2013 - Northeast Edition

Ed Krasavage Construction Inc. employees work to encapsulate the replacement pipe with rebar and then pour a concrete protective wall enclosing the entire pipe.
Ed Krasavage Construction Inc. employees work to encapsulate the replacement pipe with rebar and then pour a concrete protective wall enclosing the entire pipe.
Ed Krasavage Construction Inc. employees work to encapsulate the replacement pipe with rebar and then pour a concrete protective wall enclosing the entire pipe. This manhole marks the spot where the old sewage pipe failed and started spewing sewage into Solomons Creek. This access road was one of the first things that needed to be created in order to start the repair work. Every safety precaution is taken using shoring purchased from Medico Industries. Godwin Pumps did its part in saving the day by responding to the scene with the appropriate pipes and pumps within hours of the incident. Ed Krasavage (L), president of Ed Krasavage Construction Inc., discusses equipment strategies with Bill Vinsko of Medico Industries. Case excavators were instrumental in breaking up the old concrete retaining wall and excavating out and replacing out the old sewer pipe. A Case 850C crawler placing rip rap, creating a new shoreline to Solomons Creek.

Most people don’t give a second thought to what happens after they flush the toilet or run the garbage disposal. But most people aren’t Ed Krasavage, who makes his living installing and repairing the septic and sewage pipes that keep our sanitation systems up and running.

So when a sewer main in the northeastern Pennsylvania township of Hanover broke and started spewing sewage into Solomons Creek and subsequently the Susquehanna River, the township contacted Krasavage, the owner/operator of the self-named construction company Ed Krasavage Construction Inc., to do emergency repairs.

The replacement of the pipe was on the schedule to be put out for bid, but when the pipe ruptured several agencies quickly gave their blessings on the emergency repairs so that the permitting process could be streamlined, stopping the flow of sewage into the creek.

The sewer main broke as the pipe runs along Solomons Creek. The area near the pipe, including the protective wall that surrounds it was initially damaged by erosion and flooding that came with Hurricane Lee several years ago.

The damaged pipe was 27-in. (65.8 cm). The section of pipe and retaining wall that needed replacing is 106 ft. (32 m) long, located in an area that was overgrown and inaccessible to heavy equipment.

“Initially our biggest concern was to stop the flow of sewage into the creek,” said Krasavage. “Our first call was to Dave Groner with Godwin Pumps. We put a call out to him at 5:30 on a Sunday and by 10:30 they were on the scene working with us to pump the sewage through a bypass system around the creek about 1,000 feet to an exit area.”

Krasavage also arranged the construction of an access road to make the repair area accessible to his men and their fleet of construction equipment. After the old sewage pipe and the remnants of the old retaining wall were removed a large volume of rip rap was brought in to re-establish and reinforce the banks along Solomons Creek.

The newly laid ductile iron pipe was encased in rebar and then surrounded with a concrete encasement. To protect the pipe and its concrete shell from future natural disasters a 5 ft. (1.5 m) wide, 3-ft. (.9 m) high footer was constructed above and beside the pipe, between the pipe and the creek.

From start to finish the project took four weeks.

Medico Industries Provides Key Equipment

Working at the site itself were multiple pieces of equipment purchased from Medico Industries: a Case CX210 excavator; a Case 9020B with a 4,000-lb. Indeco hammer, which was used to break up the old retaining wall; a Case 621EXT loader with a side dump bucket and tool carrier used for loading and unloading aggregate materials, and for moving necessary supplies such as pipe; a brand new Takeuchi TB285; a Case 850 crawler; and Atlas Copco generator; and an Efficiency trench box.

The business relationship between Ed Krasavage Construction and Medico Industries started nearly 20 years ago when Krasavage stopped by Medico’s Wilkes-Barre, Pa., facility to purchase a tamper for his excavator. When it was all said and done, as a result of that visit, he purchased $250,000 worth of construction equipment, including a Case 621 loader and his Case 9020B excavator with a plate tamper and a hammer.

“My only intent in stopping at Medico was to look at a hydraulic tamper,” Krasavage said. “I was so impressed with the Case equipment, the people at Medico, and the creative financing package that they were able to put together, it just made a lot of sense to start a relationship with this company which began with a significant purchase. The people at Medico have never given me any reason to regret that decision.

“Case has proven to be an innovator in the manufacturing of construction equipment and Medico has consistently supported the product. When we need backup, parts, service or whatever, Medico has people at our job site that day. Tom Medico has stood behind everything that he told us he would do on that first day that we met him 20 years ago, and has stood behind everything that has been said since. At one point we had a very expensive part fail that was just out of warranty, and Medico took care of us, no questions asked. The Case equipment is easy to operate. I’m a big guy, and I easily fit in the cab. The machines are priced right, powerful and dependable.”

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