City may purchase pump to avoid sewage leak into river | Local News

City may purchase pump to avoid sewage leak into river | Local News


Monday’s City Council agenda carries several purchases for St. Joseph’s Sewer Maintenance Division, including a pump motor to keep sewer water from breaching the 102 River.

The Faraon Pump Station, located east of Riverside Road near Tyson Foods, handles sewage from a large portion of east St. Joseph. It then uses several pumps to move that sewage west into a gravity-fed pipe that runs to the treatment plant on the west side of the city.

According to Assistant Director of Public Works Brady McKinley, the station houses three pumps that all can be used together. During the dry season, only one pump is needed to get the wastewater over the hills, into the gravity line. During peak wet season, two pumps often are needed to keep up with the flow.

“What we experienced in January, which we haven’t figured out why, is we had two out of our three pumps go down,” McKinley said. “We were able to get one of the two pumps going again … but that still left us without the third pump.”

McKinley said that the pumps typically are alternated in order to keep from overworking them, and when two pumps are needed the third is reserved as a backup.

The station has two lagoons that can store water, but once they overflow, the 102 River is at risk of contamination.

“That is our last resort and there’s only so much storage capacity in those lagoons,” McKinley said. “If we can’t get the pumps operational fast enough, we could have an overflow of raw sewage into the 102 River, which is really bad.”

On Monday, the City Council will see a resolution to approve the emergency purchase of a replacement pump motor from JCI Industries, Inc. for $65,400.

Also on the agenda are resolutions to purchase an inlet cleaning machine for $190,800, a Vactor Jet Rodder for $154,250 and a five-ton cab and chassis for $86,700.

McKinley said the inlet cleaning machine is to replace a current model with more than 9,000 hours on it. The machine is used to clean sewer inlets in areas that would be difficult to reach with larger trucks. The old truck will be handed down to the streets division.

The Vactor Jet Rodder is part of a two-truck operation that routinely cleans out sewer lines.

“The jet truck sprays water, basically, and blows everything out of the sewer lines. The Vactor truck on the other end collects the material at the next manhole down that way it’s not pushed down through the system plugging up pipes,” McKinley said.

The council will meet at 7 p.m. in the Council Chamber at City Hall.



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