Tuesday, May 24, 2005

City Installs First New Lift Station Generator

Source: The Ledger

WINTER HAVEN -- Flushing the toilet won't be a problem this hurricane season.

Winter Haven public utility officials have installed the first of 11 permanent generators for lift stations.

The first generator was installed at the Garden Grove lift station in Cypresswood.

"This is the second-biggest lift station in the city and this was our No. 1 priority," said Tony Viola, utilities/engineer services department director. "It's the Porsche of generators."

One million gallons of wastewater flows through the Garden Grove lift station each day, Viola said.

The city ordered the generators between October and November and paid $280,000 for them. It's been a slow process getting them because the vendor is backed up with orders, Viola said.

The generator in the Cypresswood development cost $55,000.

There are 160 lift stations throughout the city. The Utilities Department has requested 10 more permanent generators in the 2005-06 budget.

During last year's triple hurricanes, utility workers were able to use five portable generators the city already had to rotate at the lift stations as power was restored.

During the power outages, rotating the portable generators became a challenge, said Joey Murphy, utilities maintenance division director. Murphy said the utilities department was limited as to where they could put the portable generators.

When the power was lost at the Cypresswood lift station, utility workers was able to hold sewage at the old Garden Grove wastewater plant system that the city purchased in 1998, Viola said.

Now that a permanent generator has been installed at Cypresswood, Viola said utility workers will eventually dismantle the old Garden Grove plant.

With the permanent generators, back up power will kick on automatically, Viola said.

In case of another hurricane outage, utility customers need to be cautious, said Murphy.

"They still should be mindful of minimum use so another lift station that doesn't have a generator won't be backed up (with sewage)," he said.


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