Sycamore City Council to consider replacing rest of wastewater pumps

August 6, 2018

SYCAMORE – The City Council will consider buying new pumps and connection equipment for its wastewater treatment system for more than $300,000 during its meeting Monday.

The total cost would include the purchase of two larger pumps, two smaller pumps and compatible connection equipment, according to the meeting’s agenda.

Last winter, one out of the four larger pumps at the city’s influent pump station started showing signs of failure, City Manager Brian Gregory said. Then a second, larger pump started showing similar symptoms of needed repair, he said.

Gregory said the pumps are about

25 years old and exceeded their useful life span. Rather than repairing the machines for about $25,000 each, he said, it was more cost-effective to buy new pumps that would need to be replaced anyway as part of the Phase 3 improvements for the city’s wastewater system, which goes to bid this fall.

“We would have had to have someone else, a third party, do those repairs,” Gregory said.

In February, the council approved the purchase of replacement pumps that would meet both present and future needs instead of investing in costly repairs for a pump that is planned to be taken out of service within the next

18 months.

Since the proposed new pumps would be coming from the same company that the city bought the two replacement pumps from in February, the prices are discounted for the remaining pumps in the city’s system, Gregory said. If the problems with the pumps remained unaddressed, he said, it could have resulted in backups in the sanitary sewer system during high-flow events.

“It’s a necessity to keep the utility operating as it should,” Gregory said.

Gregory said the entire Phase 3 improvement project is estimated to cost $25 million. He said the purchase of the new pumps that will be considered for approval won’t result in additional rate increases for residents.

The City Council will meet at 7 p.m. Monday at the Sycamore Center, 308 W. State St.

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