The South Essex Sewerage District is seeking permits, including one from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, to replace more than a mile of iron pipes that carry Marblehead's sewage to the Salem teatment plant.
The project came about last spring after investigators detected a leak in a pipe in Salem Harbor. The pipe was repaired but inspectors found the iron pipes were deteriorating.
The Sewerage District updated the Marblehead Water and Sewer Commission on the replacement plan this week and will present the plan to the town's Conservation Commission later this month.
Frank Siegel, the chairman of the town's water and sewer commisison said the pipes project will require multiple permits — federal, state and local — before the project can go out to bid.
The South Essex Sewerage District, a regional group that represents municipalities including Marblehead and Salem, has already filed a permit application with the US Army Corps of Engineers.
The Sewerage District wants the Corps' okay to install two 24-inch polyethylene pipelines below Salem Harbor, according to the Army Corps of Engineers.
The existing pipeline sits below Salem Harbor, extending from the end of Stramski Way in Marblehead to the sewage treatment plant at 50 Fort Avenue in Salem.
Replacement work will include trenching the harbor bottom, putting down bedding material, placing the new pipes and covering the pipes and trench with dredged bottom material.
Some estimates put the project's pricetag in the $20 million range with Marblehead having to pay for it.
Patch will follow this story with additional information in the coming weeks.