Airport lift station

Airport Lift Station

Pacific City Joint Water-Sanitary Authority (PCJWSA) owns, operates and maintains 10 remote sewage pumping stations scattered throughout Pacific City and Woods. Of those 10, the Airport pump station, built in 1979, is the largest and most critically important to the community. It has also been the most susceptible to failure, including flooding. In light of those issues, the PCJWSA Board of Directors approved the purchase of an adjoining lot to accommodate the construction of a new pump station. In December 2008, the legal documents were executed and PCJWSA took possession of the property. This proved to be a fortuitous and forward thinking acquisition by PCJWSA.

On January 2, 2009, PCJWSA employees discovered what they had feared for many years; the pump station had failed and the facility was filled with flood waters, immersing the electric motors and other components in water. The first order of business was to set up emergency by-pass pumping and then drain and clean the facility in order to assess the damages.  Once the facility was drained, it was obvious that all the equipment was a total loss.

Because building a new facility would take time due to design, permitting and construction considerations, PCJWSA opted to rebuild the facility until a new one was in place. PCJWSA staff members set about removing all the old equipment, procuring new pumps, motors, control panels and related accessories. Staff and sub-contractors rebuilt the pump station and had it complete and ready for use in late February 2009. No simple task.

In the spring of 2012, PCJWSA had a new pump station facility design, permits were in place and the project went to bid. The contractor was selected and construction began in May 2012. The facility, designed to be flood and tsunami proof was built on concrete auger cast pilings and has 1 foot thick concrete walls. The building houses a standby generator and all the electrical components. To test the water-tightness of the building, the contractor was required to fill the inside of the building with water to ensure it did not leak, and it didn’t.

To facilitate the placement of the new wet well where the new pumps would be placed, an excavation to elevation -10 feet below mean sea level had to be accomplished. For perspective, the surrounding surface grade is at +8 feet above mean sea level. Again, concrete auger cast pilings were installed under the wet well to prevent settling of the structure. The very top of the wet well and the building concrete were constructed to elevation +14.60 feet above mean sea level, 1 foot above the 100-year flood as determined by FEMA maps.

The project was scheduled to be fully complete by December 2012. Unfortunately, due to numerous delays and complications, it was not completed until March 2013. Including construction, equipment procurement and engineering, the project topped $1,000,000 in costs. The bulk of those proceeds were out-of-pocket with only about $150,000 coming from a line of credit PCJWSA established prior to the beginning of the project. PCJWSA and its customers now have a dependable and larger capacity pump station they can count of for many years to come.