Hibbing Public Utilities is replacing approximately 2,800 feet of 3-4” diameter carbon steel condensate main return piping with 4” diameter stainless steel piping. HPU is also replacing approximately 2,000 feet (based on 25 services at approximately 80 feet per service) of 1-1¼” customer-owned carbon steel condensate return service piping with 1¼” diameter stainless steel piping.

Hecimovich Mechanical is the successful bidder for this project and is responsible for all labor, equipment, and materials for full replacement of both condensate main and condensate services to include all excavation, piping replacement, tie-ins, backfill and full surface restoral to both the main and customer service feed. Customer service replacement piping is from the down-stream connection on the HPU owned customer condensate return meter to the HPU owned condensate main return in the alley steam vault.

All restoral quality shall be of the same or better prior to disturbance.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

for S. Howard alley condensate return Main and Service lines replacement


Q: Where are the mains being replaced?

A: Between 7th Ave E and 3rd Ave W. The plan is to have three (3) twenty-five (25) feet long excavations (one every three blocks) vs. open cutting the entire alley for the condensate main repairs. The area between 12th Ave E and 7th Ave E was replaced more than 10 years ago, was inspected in 2019 and found to be in good shape.

Q: When is the condensate main work scheduled?

A: It is scheduled to start late September 2019 and be completed in December 2019. We will start from 7th Ave E and work towards the west.

Q: Why is HPU doing this project?

A: Returning condensate to the power plant will decrease steam production costs. Condensate is heated and treated water that reduces the amount of fuel and water treatment chemicals used at the power plant to make steam.


Q: Where are the services being replaced?

A: Between 12th Ave E and 3rd Ave W – the entire length of our steam main in South Howard alley.

Q: When is the condensate service work scheduled?

A: It is scheduled to start mid-October 2019 and be completed in December 2019. We will start when we receive customer easements (see below).

Q. Will I be compensated for providing an easement?

A. The Commission has not approved any compensation other than the $1 listed on the easement; however, the Commission has authorized the Utility to make the condensate service line repair at no cost to the property owner.

Q. What does final restoral mean?

A. Black dirt and grass seed. Where applicable, there are several business that there is no grass to restore. As we plan to perform the work this fall, we will perform rough restoral this year and come back next spring to perform final restoral. No further visits are planned beyond the one additional visit next spring.

Q. What happens if I do not provide HPU the agreement to replace the condensate return service line?

A. The condensate return line will not be repaired, thus not reducing steam production costs that were planned to be gained from performing this project. The Commission will enforce the current HPU policy and will require each property owner to make the repair on a timely basis or the steam utility will be disconnected until the repair had been completed.

Q. Will my steam service line also be replaced?

A. No, just the condensate return service line. The customer retains ownership of the steam service line including requirements to make repair to the line if it is leaking.

Q. I have not been contacted by the HPU to replace my condensate service line. Will my line be replaced?

A. Not at this time. If the condensate return service line is found to be leaking in the future, the Commission may or may not approve the line to be replaced at that time.

Q. How long will I be without heat during the repair process?

A. Your heat will not be impacted as we are replacing the condensate line not the steam line. During the condensate service line repair, the condensate will need to be sent to drain temporarily. The HPU contractor will assist in this task.

Q. How will the condensate service line be replaced under customer’s structures such as garages or buildings?

A. An opening will be made near to the entry of the condensate line at the house. The replacement plan is to pull the line from the alley manhole to the opening. Should this plan not work, HPU will work with the vendor for options. Some of those options may be cost-prohibitive that may not allow for the condensate service line to be repaired.

Q: Will this replacement change the amount of steam I am being billed?

A: No, the condensate at the meter will not change from the replacement. We will be able to reuse the condensate at the plant to reduce steam production costs.