Northeast wastewater lift station to be upgraded

One of the City’s main wastewater lift stations, a pump station for sewage collection, will be upgraded to meet current capacity.

One of the City’s main wastewater lift stations, a pump station for sewage collection, will be upgraded to meet current capacity.

Lacombe City councillors approved the tender for the upgrade project during their regular meeting on Feb. 23rd.

The northeast lift station, located in the Wolf Creek Industrial Park, services a large section of the City, including all businesses and residences north of Hwy. 12. A total of 3,808 residential customers and 344 commercial and industrial customers are affected by the upgrades.

“It is an upgrade needed for the City,” said Director of Operations and Planning Services Matthew Goudy.

The lift station was constructed in 1978 and was last upgraded in 1993. Since then operation of the station has been a challenge for the City.

“In 2010 and 2011, the northeast lift station experienced over capacity events,” stated Utilities Manager Chris Huston in his report to council. “When the station reaches the four plus metre mark, it is over capacity and the sewer mainlines feeding the station begin to back up through the community. When this happens, basements in English Estates (Dickens Lane and Petticoat Lane) are at increased risk of sewer backup.”

During the past two years, the City experienced numerous severe weather events where localized flooding occurred, overflowing sewer and storm mains.

“The northeast lift station required Hydrovac trucks, vacuum trucks and trash pumps to intercept and divert incoming sewer flows feeding the station,” stated Huston. Ever since 2012, the City has set up provisions in the spring and fall months to prevent the station from going over capacity again. In 2013, the City began preliminary studies and provided funds for a design the following year.

Upgrades identified by the study and included in the tender for the lift station include a roof replacement, increasing the station’s pumping capacity, replacing dated equipment and bringing deficiencies of the building up to code.

The complex upgrade project was put out to tender in January and five bids, all above projected costs, were received this month.

The lowest valid bid was submitted by Tritech Group Ltd. sitting at $1,921,700.

The final cost to the City totals $550,871, approximately 37% over the budgeted amount in the 2015 capital budget, said Goudy. Council awarded the tender to the lowest valid bidder, but did have some questions regarding pricing and off site levies, which will assist in payment of the project.

Councillor Wayne Armishaw questioned if it was better to build on the 35-year-old building or to construct a new facility.

Goudy noted that the study indicated it was a better move to add on to the building, as there was still a lot of value at the current site. To cover the budget shortfall councillors also approved a borrowing bylaw, which would allow the City to re-coup the cost through the Alberta Capital Finance Authority or through a bank loan.

The approval of the borrowing bylaw allows the construction and expansion of the lift station to proceed.

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