By Joe Bachman
WISCONSIN RAPIDS — City officials have approved a budget amendment to move forward on a contract with Strand Associates Inc. who will design a new west side lift station and river crossing force main.
According to city documents, a total of $345,000 has been budgeted over the past few years for the design portion of the west side lift station project. Design costs will hit around $351,960, with an additional $429,490 for bidding and construction at a later time. In addition, $118,580 will be set aside for soil testing services by a geotechnical firm.
Funding for the project will come through multiple avenues, including sewer utility reserves, and through the state’s Clean Water Fund. This program offers assistance to municipalities for wastewater treatment facility projects. Through this fund, the city will be reimbursed for costs endured through the project.
Public works have set a plan years ago to build a new lift station which is now considered an urgent project. According to Wastewater Superintendent Ryan Giefer in a letter to the city recommending swift action on the matter:
“…cathodic protection that is designed to preserve the integrity of the existing force main has been compromised and is no longer conductive. This suggests the pipe under the river may be weakening, which could lead to failures. This brings the urgency level to high or even emergency. We must complete this project as soon as possible to avoid a very costly or even dangerous situation.”
Force mains move wastewater under pressure by utilizing pumps located in lift stations. Public Works officials are hopeful that the design phase will complete by the end of the year with construction on a new lift station to begin in 2018. A project for the new force main will look to start in 2019.