September 8, 2023 – Clay Pipe Failure Repair

Clay pipe was the material of choice for building Harlingen’s sewer system dating back to 1926, and it continued to be the standard into the 1980s. Though it can last more than a century under ideal conditions, in Harlingen’s soils that shrink and swell with fluctuating moisture content, its life span is only about 50 to 60 years. Clay pipe makes up 125 miles (41%) of the sewer system.

PVC pipe gained popularity in the United States in the 1960 because of its superior flexibility, durability, watertight joints. PVC remains the standard for new sewers, and it currently makes up 177 miles (58%) of the sewer system. Most sewer failures occur in the clay pipe portions of our system and are repaired using PVC.

In the past week, HWWS crews cleared 2 sewer backups and repaired 1 broken clay sewer main and service tap near West Knox Avenue.

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