City replacing two lift stations

COLUMBIA CITY — With the arrival of warmer weather, work has accelerated on a pair of lift stations in Columbia City which are replacing structures more than a half-century old.“These old lift stations were installed in 1959,” said Mike Cook, Superintendent of Columbia City’s Water Pollution Control Facility.According to Cook, the old lift stations were located more than 30 feet underground, but new technology will enable the new structures to be barely 11 feet under the surface.Mayor Jim Fleck commented on the projects, which are being done at locations near Jefferson and Main streets following Friday’s Board of Public Works and Safety meeting.“This is a big project,” Fleck said. “We have two of these being installed.“It’s one of those things where once they’re covered up, no one knows they’re there.”The lift stations were manufactured by Lenexa, Kansas-based Smith & Loveless, Inc., the same company that made the old structures, according to Cook.He said maintenance on the old structures requires more than one worker going into the hole and for air to be pumped in for employee safety.He said the new stations use a blower system to help with the process, which is moving raw sewage to a new elevation.“Lift stations are put into place when you run out of gravity,” said Cook.The projects, which total about $400,000, were made possible, according to Cook, by savings experienced in the recent expansion project of his facility.Cook estimated the projects could be done sometime between April and May, but said it would depend on the delivery of the Main Street station.