By Naomi Hatch
The Snowflake Town Council approved the purchase of a used 1998 Vac-Con V truck and a basic remote control camera system to clean out the town’s sewer lines last week.
Public Works Superintendent Terry Cooper explained that the town’s wastewater collection system has a gravity sewer line of over 34 miles with eight lift stations and 247 manholes that take the wastewater to the wastewater treatment plant.
He gave an overview of the system, showing four of the lift stations and the amount of flow caused from the monsoon rains. An example was the Seventh South lift station, which normally sends 14,000 to 16,000 gallons per day (gpd) to the lift station, but on July 27, it sent 70,000 gallons and for three days they were still having higher flows come into the lift stations.
Cooper noted that this is water that doesn’t need to be treated, and is coming through such things as breaks or cracks in the lines, and through manhole covers. He said there are still clay pipes that are very old, and they could be cracking and breaking in the system.
Because of the recent purchase of four Omnisite Monitoring Stations, staff members found that recent rainstorms had caused serious problems in the inflow and infiltration, which he explained in backup material as “an introduction of outside water into the sewer collection system, which is conveyed through the lift stations and ultimately into the wastewater treatment plant.”
Cooper advised the council that they have budgeted $20,000 this year to contract line cleaning and inspection, which is an important part of the maintenance plan, but in talking to vendors they find that cleaning and inspection costs are in the range of $1 per foot, so with 34 miles of gravity sewer or 180,000 feet of pipe, it would take nine years and cost approximately $180,000 to clean the entire system. He further explained that the lines should be cleaned and expected every three to four years.
Based on the extended frequency of cleaning the pipe and the cost of contracting the services, staff members investigated the purchase of a Vac-Con vehicle and camera system.
Cooper was requesting approval of the purchase of the used Vac-Con truck and mainline camera.
“This has the capability of cleaning every side pipe we have in our system,” explained Cooper, noting that the smallest is 8”.
Following questions by the council, a motion to purchase the 1998 Vac-Con Hydro-Vac truck and Private Eye 2 portable mainline camera for an amount not to exceed $117,902.94 passed unanimously.
By Naomi Hatch