By Starrla Cray
WINSTED, MN What would happen if there was a problem with the sewage system in Winsted?
The Winsted City Council explored this question at Tuesday’s work session, weighing the benefits and drawbacks of $800,000 worth of proposed improvements.
Winsted currently has six sanitary sewer lift stations, which are used to pump sewage to a higher elevation.
Two lift stations have permanent generators, while the other four rely on a portable generator in case of a power outage.
City engineer Jake Saulsbury of Bolton & Menk said the city would likely have between four to eight hours to deal with the sewage before it would become a problem.
Council members asked what would happen to the sewage if an issue should occur.
“It would be somewhere, in somebody’s basement,” Saulsbury said.
In order to help prevent this, permanent generators at a cost of $93,000 to $110,000 each are recommended for three of the remaining lift stations. (The last station has a low flow rate, so a generator is not needed.)
Upgrades to the Littfin lift station and Northgate lift station are also recommended.
“I would do the Northgate [upgrades and generator] immediately,” Saulsbury said. “There’s potential to be a real problem over there.”
The Northgate lift station was constructed in 1975, and is located in an easement northeast of Northgate Drive. Saulsbury noted that the pumps can only reach a depth of 1.5 feet, which leaves only 6 inches of storage.
“This storage volume is inadequate, and the current station operation allows flow to back up in the 15-inch [sewer] to provide additional storage,” he added.
The recommendation is for a new lift station, with an 8-foot well and two 20-horsepower pumps. The new station would be able to provide a minimum of 4 feet of additional storage below the 15-inch sewer.
This portion of the project is estimated at $369,000.
The Littfin upgrade is estimated to cost about $118,000, and would include replacement of pumps, valves, and the control panel.
The council directed City Administrator Dan Tienter to calculate different ways the city could pay for the proposed improvements, and how it would affect taxpayers. He will bring the information to a future meeting.
Another project discussed Tuesday is phase two of sanitary sewer pipe lining in the southeast part of Winsted.
The council authorized Bolton & Menk to prepare plans and specifications for the work, and to solicit bids through the public advertising process. Saulsbury said work can take place anytime, as long as there is no danger of freezing. The lining is designed to last 40 years.
The first phase of the project took place last year, also in the south part of town.
Odds and ends
In other business, the council:
• accepted the resignation of Sandra Fleischman as part-time (20 hours per week) administrative assistant, effective April 7. Ethel Wolff was appointed to take her place, with an employment start date of April 10. Wolff had previously been a temporary employee with the city, and Tienter said he expects a “smooth transition.”
• accepted a donation of seven office chairs (valued at $65 each) from Mary Jensen, to be used at the Winsted Fire Hall.
• authorized an amended assessment agreement between the City of Winsted and the McLeod County Assessor for $11,655.
• accepted a donation toward the purchase, installation, and maintenance of a water fountain for Winsted Lake.