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Next on the list of infrastructure replacement or repair is the City of Salmon’s Wastewater Treatment Lift Station.

The lift station is the facility which collects all waste water generated by city use and pumps it to the sewer treatment lagoons for the first step of treatment. The lift station was last modified in 1986 and was originally built in the 1960’s which makes it and its delivery pipe around 50 years old.

In September of 2016 the Salmon City Council gave the firm of Keller Associates a $14,850 go-ahead to prepare an evaluation of the lift station and provide cost estimates on repair or replacement options. At the May 17 meeting of the Salmon City Council Keller Associates Vice President/Professional Civil Engineer Jim Mullen presented results of the evaluation to the council. After speaking with Public Works Superintendent Harry Shanafelt and City Waste Water Treatment Plant Supervisor Charlie Cockrell, plus evaluating the facility options, in view of effects from a potential failure of the system, Mullen said the preferred proactive alternative is to construct a new system and facility.

He explained that if the underwater 24 inch delivery line were to break it would spew untreated waste water into the Salmon River and there would be no way to get east side sewage to the treatment plant. He said it is suspected that the 50 year old steel pipe has deteriorated to the point river water is infiltrating the line which sends the excess water on to the treatment plant. Mullen said the most cost effective fix is to thread a 20 inch thick-walled, welded HDPE line through the existing pipe. HDPE refers to a High Density Polyethylene pipe with a high strength-to-density rating. Mullen said the pipe is also somewhat flexible and withstands ground shifts well.

He said the 20 inch line would accommodate a 5,100 gallon per minute capacity. The city’s present peak flow is 2,500 gallons per minute which makes the 20 inch line more than sufficient.

As to the facility itself Keller, Shanafelt and Cockrell prefer constructing a new lift station and new building which would separate the electrical control room from pumping areas, provide more room for maintenance procedures and prevent the present situation of sewer gas degrading the electrical equipment. Shanafelt pointed out the new system would be a gravity flow and would not require the present pumping stations.

The approximate bottom line replacement costs would be between $1.1 and $1.2 million.

City Finance Director Amy Fealko said she would like to discuss the issue further in budget workshops which are due to begin shortly. She said it will probably be next year before any construction can begin and she added that funding for the project will come from monies in the Wastewater Contingency fund.

The council decided to put the wastewater lift station replacement project on the June 7th council meeting agenda where it will serve as the first Budget Workshop of the 2018 budget setting process. A financial report on the project will be prepared and made available to council members prior to that meeting.

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