Notes of Importance

July 4, 2019

This is a note from People’s Service (that maintains our water and waste system) to me:

About 10:30 PM on July 4thwe received a call about the red light on at the Middle Island lift station. We responded to the location and found the level in the wet pit (sewage pump) higher than normal but not dangerously high. One pump was running but the other was tripped out. We were not able to reset the pump that was tripped and the pump that was running wasn’t keeping up with the incoming flow. We left the site at that time and returned about 1:30 AM and found that the level was still higher than normal but had dropped from the level we found earlier. On Friday July 5th I sent a crew to pull the bad pump. We found that pump locked up. We were able to find a replacement pump in Des Moines and sent a truck to get it. While we were waiting for the replacement pump we had Two Rivers Pumping come out and clean the lift station as preventative maintenance. This also helped keep the wet pit level down a bit. During this time the pump that was running was not keeping up with the incoming flow and the level continued to rise during the day. When the new pump arrived it was installed and wired. The lift station wet well level returned to normal. We now have one new pump and one weak old pump in that lift station. I believe it would be a good idea to replace the old pump as soon as possible. These are expensive pumps, slightly over $9000 each.

Duane, PeopleService Inc.

Follow-up –

I spoke with Dave Gall and Doug Whitehead this afternoon, Doug told me that it was not the water pump that was replaced 26 months ago, this was the sewage lift pump motor.  People’s has been tasked with keeping this system operational, so they didn’t need to check with Nebco to move things along and based on the email from Duane Grashorn it sounds like they went over and above on a holiday weekend to keep things running – they even had Two Rivers Pumping come out and clean the lift station to keep the levels in check while they looked for a replacement motor.  Doug stated that he felt People’s did everything necessary and needed to keep the system flowing.  He also mentioned that they had seen some indications that the motor wasn’t running efficiently and they were in the process of lining up a motor when this happened.  He suggested that we have a spare on hand for situations like this – which might need to be considered.

This expense will be divided by North Lake and Middle Island – if the number is actually $9,000 for the motor we’d be looking at ($9,000/169 = $53.25 per lot, it’s probably a good idea to replace the weak pump as well, since it will fail here in the near future and these motors take time to locate, plus it is probably drawing more electricity to keep working.