City, KCLS replacing leaky water pipes at downtown library

Contractors work to repair a leaky pipe at the Cedar River Library April 10. - Brian Beckley/Renton Reporter
Contractors work to repair a leaky pipe at the Cedar River Library April 10.
— image credit: Brian Beckley/Renton Reporter

Workers this week are replacing a leaky water pipe under the Cedar River Library that was detected using the city's radio-read water meters.

The project is a joint one between the city and King County Library System, who under the Interlocal Agreement are responsible for the upkeep and utilities at the 49-year-old building.

The library is presently served by galvanized pipes, which according to Renton Facilities Manager Peter Renner are no longer used for water delivery because they are prone to leaks. This week, the city is replacing the library's water meter and the pipes that reach from the city water main to the meter with copper.

KCLS has hired a contractor to replace the pipes from the meter to the building.

According to KCLS Facilities Manager Greg Smith, the new pipe leading to the library will be plastic.

According to Water Utility Supervisor Abdoul Gafour, the leaks were detected through the city's radio-read water meters, commonly referred to as "smart meters."

The meters are designed to monitor water usage and send a report if it detects "way above normal" usage, said Gafour.

At the library, the meters detected water usage at a rate of about 30 cubic feet per hour, or 224 gallons of water.

Gafour said the library's regular usage is about 500 gallons per day.

"It looked about 10 times more," he said of the leak.

The city's work was expected to be completed Wednesday. The contractor's work on the KCLS part of the project is expected to finish up Wednesday or early Thursday.

Because of the repairs, the library will close at 5 p.m. today, Wednesday, and water inside the building was turned off from late Tuesday through Thursday, meaning bathrooms and water fountains would be closed.

Portable toilets were brought in while the work was being completed.

The type of pipes being installed has been corrected in this story.

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