The western third of Pickerington's sewage drains by gravity into the Leasure Drive Pump Station before then being pumped into the city's waste water treatment plant.
Steady development over the years coupled with the expected increase of sewage generated from the new 60-acre Ohio Health medical campus on Refugee Road, projected to open in the summer of 2014, makes it imperative the city redesign the pump station to handle the increased sewage capacity, according to Pickerington City Engineer Greg Bachman.
To that end, the city has enlisted HDR Engineering Inc. for the pump station's redesign.
Pickerington City Council heard a first reading of an ordinance which would authorize City Manager Bill Vance to execute a contract with HDR for professional engineering services at its Nov. 6 meeting.
"The contract is for a maximum of $64,000 (and) design is expected to take three to four months," said Bachman, who added HDR was chosen through a state-mandated selection process "... whereby design firms are rated by their qualifications."
"HDR was rated the most qualified firm for this work from the proposals we received," Bachman said.
Bachman said a new pump station would more than double the capacity of the current one.
"This is an older pump station in an area of the city that has had substantial growth since the pump station was initially constructed," he said.
"The city's 2011 Sanitary Sewer Master Plan identified the pump station as needing to be updated and expanded.
"The capacity of the current pump station is 2.1 million gallons per day," Bachman said.
"The pump station is at capacity. The new pump station will have a capacity of 4.5 million gallons per day," he said.
Bachman said there could be dire consequences if the Leasure Drive Pump Station is not enlarged.
"If the station is not expanded, it will not have the capacity for future sewage flows," he said.
"The excess future sewage could then backup into people's basements."
Bachman said the total project is estimated to cost Pickerington approximately $850,000, which will be paid out of the city's Sanitary Sewer Fund.
"A detailed construction cost estimate will be part of the engineering design," he said.
Bachman said Ohio Health is in the process of determining what facilities will go on its "health care" campus site, but it is expected to generate a sewage flow of 0.3 million gallons or more a day.
The pump station redesign will include numerous upgrades.
"The pumps will be larger, with more capacity," Bachman said.
"Discharge piping will be up-sized. Most of the pump station controls are near the end of their expected lives.
"A backup standby generator with automatic switchgear will be included in the project," he said.
Bachman said the city is evaluating whether to keep the pump station at its current location at the south end of Leasure Drive, or re-locate it to "the north side of Long Road opposite Long Road/Leasure Drive on an existing city of Pickerington easement."