Harlan Council hears pump station update

Published 2:48 pm Friday, February 16, 2024

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The Harlan City Council heard an update during a meeting on Thursday concerning recent emergency repairs to one of the city’s sewer pump stations.

Harlan Mayor Joe Meadors brought the council up to speed on the situation.

“They started the emergency repairs on the pump station…at Four Mile on Monday,” Meadors said. “This thing is 22 feet deep, and it goes down to where the sewer lines are, and it’s stainless steel enclosed with concrete and reinforcing wire. All the pumps are on top of the surface.”

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According to Meadors, sulfuric acid buildup created an issue.

“This sulfuric acid has built up to the point that it has eaten away the concrete,” Meadors said. “If you pulled the top off this well, all you’re going to see is the reinforcement wire. The concrete is already eaten out.”

Meadors said the concrete issue had to be remedied.

“They’ve had considerable progress, as a matter of fact they’ve done great,” Meadors said. “I think they started this afternoon (Thursday, April 15) applying the second coat of concrete. Then on top of this new concrete they put this material that’s similar to a bed lining like you get for the bed of a pickup truck.”

Meadors said this method has been successfully used throughout the United States.

“Everybody has this problem,” Meadors said. “That’s the reason we’re getting away from just having concrete there without something on top of it.”

Meadors noted the pump station had to be pumped out multiple times.

“We had to pump this station six times Monday night,” Meadors said. “Our guys worked around the clock. That’s all that sewage from Wallins coming back toward Rio Vista to the main treatment plant, so you can imagine the volume of sewage coming through there, and those guys can’t get down in there and work with that sewage coming through there, so we have to keep it pumped. We’ve had to take it all the way over to our treatment plant. It’s doing well, and we ought to be through by Saturday afternoon.”

Meadors noted the only alternatives would be to let the sewage overflow out onto the ground or into the river, neither of which is acceptable.

“We had no choice but to pump it,” Meadors told the council.

Meadors noted the city handles sewage from Harlan Water Works, Cawood Water District and Black Mountain Utility District.