Lift station replacement a must, says CAO
Wednesday, Jan 10, 2018 06:00 am
Black Diamond’s chief administrative officer says the Town shouldn’t wait much longer to replace one of its lift stations, citing it could become an environmental liability concern.
Sharlene Brown is recommending council add the project to the 2018 budget, which means council must come up with about $150,000 to bring the 2nd Street lift station up to current safety standards.
Sewage lift stations are needed in Black Diamond, said Brown, as the majority of the town’s sewer mains are gravity fed.
“In low-lying areas we have to pump the sewage so it continues to go down the line,” she said. “It provides a lift and it pushes the material down the pipe to the sewage lagoons in the northeast corner of town.”
If it’s not added to the budget, she said the facility would continue to be at risk of potential environmental liability if it breaks down.
“It’s still holding its own at this point in time, but last year there was an incident where one of the sewer mains had to be fixed in that particular area because there was potential for an environmental liability concern,” she said. “We’ve kept an eye on it and waited as long as we can. It’s time for an infrastructure upgrade on it.”
The total cost of the upgrade is approximately $650,000, of which $319,000 will be covered through the Municipal Sustainability Initiative (MSI) grant, about $100,000 in Basic Municipal Transportation Grants and another $71,506.54 from the Town’s capital reserves, she said.
“We have everything except the $150,000,” said Brown. “Where that will come from will have to be decided during the budget process.”
The lift station, constructed in 1980 and upgraded in 1997, has reached its life expectancy and no longer meets the occupational health and safety requirements, Brown said.
It has been on the books for replacement for years and was budgeted in 2016, but the town office lift station - also slated for replacement - experienced cost overages and the 2nd Street facility replacement had to be put on hold, Brown said.
Last year, four other infrastructure projects were identified as higher priorities so it was again put on hold.
With those projects now completed, Brown said the lift station is near the top of the priority list for 2018.
She said the Town could apply for another MSI grant or look into other infrastructure grants or partners to help cover the remaining cost.
If budgeted, Brown said she would like to see the lift station replacement complete in the summer.
She said redesign plans for the lift station were completed in December.