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Wastewater trucks could cost Havasu nearly $900K

January 6, 2019

The Lake Havasu City Council will next week consider the purchase of two wastewater maintenance vehicles, at an estimated cost of $876,820.

According to Lake Havasu City Maintenance Services Manager Mark Clark, the vehicles will be used to aid the city’s wastewater department in cleaning about 350 miles of sewer system, maintaining more than 70 lift stations and cleaning the city’s three wastewater treatment plants. The vehicles would also respond to emergencies to prevent or mitigate spills.

One of the new trucks would be used to clean Havasu sewer lines five days per week, while the other would be used for lift station and treatment plant issues, as well as cleaning sewer lines, according to Clark.

“We desperately need to accelerate our cleaning efforts to eliminate backups, root, grit and odor issues,” wrote Lake Havasu City Utility Supervisor Ed Donahue in a December report.

“The fleet we have now is outdated and undependable, and the majority of the time we only use one unit, keeping the other for emergencies,” Donahue said. “We are hesitant to use both vehicles daily so that we don’t run the risk of both trucks breaking down and leaving us with nothing, which unfortunately has happened.”

The city already maintains two such vehicles, according to Donahue, but each has suffered from a multitude of mechanical issues as they near the end of their respective lifespans. Combined, both of the city’s older vehicles have required about $68,000 in repairs during 2018 alone. The estimated cost of parts and labor to maintain both vehicles over the next 12 months, combined, will be more than $240,000, according to Donahue’s report.

The management of Havasu’s wastewater system with such equipment would fall within required environmental regulations. Funding for the purchase is available within the city’s FY 2018-19 Wastewater Capital Outlay fund, and would require no further expense by Lake Havasu City.

Clark anticipates the vehicles will remain efficient for 10 to 15 years after their purchase. While such vehicles are also applicable for use in pot hole repair, storm sewer cleaning, valve maintenance and hydro-excavating, Clark says the new vehicles would not be put to such use, to extend their respective lifespans for as long as possible.

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