Lowndes County lift station pumps 2018-08-13

Once again the Lowndes County Commission considers replacing a lift station pump at Bevel Creek. The agenda sheet says:

The Bevel Creek lift station is a triplex lift station on our main trunk line that delivers over 60% of our wastewater flow to the LAS. This station is currently running on two pumps. We have a quote from AAG Inc. to repair the pump that is out of service for $13,971.04. Staff recommends the pump be repaired for $13,971.04.

Replacing that pump sounds like a good idea. LAS is Land Application Site, as in spray field, a few thousand feet from the GA-FL state line and slightly upstream from the Withlacoochee River. Lowndes County does not have a wastewater treatment plant, and nobody wants sewage leaking at Bevel Creek or at the LAS.

Lowndes County Utilities Director Steve Stalvey
Lowndes County Utilities Director Steve Stalvey, 8 May 2018.

I do wonder, though, why we’re needing to replace a pump at Bevel Creek again, after just replacing one of those pumps in May, and another in March. That would seem to be all three Bevel Creek pumps, so are we finished replacing them after this one?

Also a custom-built switch single-sourced from Cowart Electric for $18,850 in February.

These pumps apparently don’t last very long, since one of them was replaced for $38,930.50 in September 2015. Maybe that was the same pump that was repaired in June 2013.

Also on the agenda for 8:30 this morning with voting 5:30 PM Tuesday, lift station pumps at Hart Road and Skipper Bridge, a pump for Gorman Rupp Bypass, and Coleman Road Lift Station Check Valves.

I’m all for keeping sanitary sewer system equipment working, and I appreciate Lowndes County Utilities both having multiple redundant pumps at each lift station, and getting bids for these pumps.

However, it does seem like a constant drumbeat of lift station pump repairs or replacements. Are there simply so many of them that one will fail every other month? Or was there a big backlog of pump maintenance? Or something else?

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

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