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Water and Sewer Commission approves funds for lift station expansion, pipeline repairs in Springdale

by Laurinda Joenks | October 21, 2021 at 7:28 a.m.
NWA Democrat-Gazette/DAVID GOTTSCHALK A city of Springdale Water Utilities lift station is visible Thursday, December 20, 2018, off Wagon Wheel Road in Springdale. The city has added water and sewer lines in northwest Springdale in anticipation of expected development in the area.

SPRINGDALE -- The Water and Sewer Commission on Wednesday voted to spend $500,000 on pumps to expand the capacity of a sewer lift station and keep up with growth in the eastern part of the city.

The commission also approved a $400,000 contract to hire Crossland Heavy Contractors as the construction manager for repairs of two major pipelines bringing sewage directly to the wastewater treatment plant.

The Springdale Water Utility will order the pumps for the lift station now so they will be available when needed in construction next summer, said Rick Pulvirenti, chief operation officer and engineer for the municipal utility. The missing links in the supply chain are causing long delays for many items, he said.

The Water and Sewer Commission oversees operation of the municipal utility.

The pumps will be manufactured and shipped from Sweden, said Heath Ward, executive director of Springdale Water Utilities. The order for the pumps will go through Jack Tyler Engineering of Little Rock.

The 105 and 185 horsepower pumps will increase the capability of the Clear Creek pumping station to pump 4,371 gallons of wastewater per minute at times of peak use, up from 2,500 gallons per minute, Pulvirenti said. That improves capacity from 3.6 million gallons a day to 6.3 million gallons a day, he added.

The commission also will upgrade a lift station at Butterfield Coach Road which pumps wastewater to the Clear Creek station. The upgrade will double the capacity of that station from 1,000 to 2,000 gallons per minute, Pulvirenti said.

Pulvirenti noted the utility must increase its capacity in advance of hundreds of homes planned for the area served by the Clear Creek pumping station. The station would operate at its current full, peak capacity all the time with the added wastewater from the homes, he said.

But the pump station must reserve that peak use for rain storms, when water leaks into the sanitary sewer system, Pulvirenti noted. The utility must be prepared at all times for a 24-hour storm expected once every five years, he said.

The utility will need to build another force-main line from the Clear Creek station to the next lift station near the Tyson Food headquarters in the next five years, Pulvirenti reported.

"It's all dependent on growth," he said. "We've got to be able to handle the growth."

Olsson engineering firm, the construction manager for the lift station upgrades, also let bids for switch gears needed for the pump station expansion. The gears control the motor of the pumps, Pulvirenti said.

Only one bid was returned, and it didn't meet the project specifications, he told the commission. The gears will be rebid.

Crossland Heavy Contractors will lead the replacement of portions of two 36-inch pipes in place above traffic on Silent Grove Road.

The arm of a backhoe tractor carried on the back of a truck hit the sewer pipes early this year. The backhoe was not secured correctly. Money received from an insurance claim settlement will pay for the repairs, Ward said.

The utility also will face delays with this project related to the supply chain.

The pipes are not leaking currently, but replacing the damaged portions will prolong their lives. The steel pipes with epoxy lining typically last about 75 years, Pulvirenti said.

The pipes carry about 8 million gallons of sewage water into the plant each day, Pulvirenti said. They carry wastewater from the central part of Springdale, north of Sunset Avenue. These lines also carry the majority of wastewater coming from the city's industrial plants.

The pipes cross over the road rather than below it because of the elevation of the land at that point. The road sits in a valley at Spring Creek. Running the lines above does not take as much pumping power to push the wastewater out of the valley and into the plant, Pulvirenti said.

The replacement of the pipes will close Silent Grove Road from West Pump Station Road to the J.B. Hunt Park entrance while construction crews work, Pulvirenti said. Utility leaders hope the crews can close one pipe at a time, rerouting the sewage to one pipe while fixing another.

The crews will work 24 hours a day over one or two weekends when sewage flows are lowest, with the added benefit of less traffic on Silent Grove, Pulvirenti said.

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