Cumberland's new sewer cleaner

With Cumberland’s new jetter truck are, from left, Mayor Jeff Mutter, DPW Director Bob Anderson, and Highway Supt. Dennis Vadenais.

CUMBERLAND – The town’s state-of-the-art new jetter vacuum truck will greatly enhance efforts to keep sewers and storm drains clean, hopefully keeping water flowing from place to place and reducing flooding in town.

Mayor Jeff Mutter, along with Highway Supt. Dennis Vadenais and Public Works Director Bob Anderson, showed off the new piece of equipment last week, explaining that the entire town will benefit as the truck is taken out on the streets to do work daily.

“The town’s never had a unit like this before,” said Anderson.

Workers will now be able to drive right up and quickly move into operation instead of the more labor-intensive and inefficient processes that have been used to this point as a dump truck was brought in, he said. Cleaning of sewer systems and catch basins will now be done on a more routine basis.

Anderson said officials saw the Aquatech truck in action in Putnam, Conn., and were impressed with how the truck functioned.

The truck is being kept at the new Pascale highway facility garage, which is coming online this week as the Kent Street garage is converted to more of a parks and recreation facility. Workers are now being trained on how to use the vehicle and its elaborate jetting and vacuuming equipment.

The truck was delivered last week from Tri-County Contractors Supply of Massachusetts. The price, previously approved by the Town Council, is $300,000, with half of that paid for through a Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management grant.

The equipment is used in concert with a pipe TV camera. After workers see what they’re facing on the camera, the equipment is used to jet the pipe and then vacuum it.

“We’ll know what’s in there before we start,” said Vadenais.

Seeing it in action, officials said they loved how much power it displayed.

Vadenais said he expects the truck to be on the road every day outside of inclement weather days, addressing problematic sewer drain issues such as on Martin Street before winter sets in while also being used for regular maintenance.

Mutter said he expects the improved operations to lead to less flooding in neighborhoods, though with the complexity of infrastructure issues, he’s making no guarantees on certain areas. He and public works officials said they expect fewer flooding claims, less aggravation in general, and reduced anxiety for residents as the town gets a better handle on the drains, which have been blamed for a number of flooding issues in recent years.

The new system will help employees determine where certain pipes go, said Anderson, also enhancing access to pipes that are difficult to get to.

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