Saluda reviews $1.5M in water/sewer infrastructure needs

Published 6:37 pm Wednesday, February 18, 2015


by Leah Justice

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With 100-year old lines and a 51 percent average water loss, City of Saluda officials say it’s long past time to begin major water and sewer infrastructure repairs.

Saluda City Council has a draft water/sewer capital improvement plan (CIP) for the next 20 years prepared by engineer Jonathan Hollifield with Watermark Engineering.

Council discussed the plan during its January meeting but has not yet approved it.

The plan includes 14 needed water and sewer repairs that total $1,590,740.

Saluda purchases its water from the City of Hendersonville and treats its own sewage. The sewage system includes approximately eight miles of lines ranging in size from four inches to 12 inches in diameter. Saluda has 360 wastewater customers and has a permitted discharge rate of 0.1 million gallons per day (MGD). The average daily of flow of the plant is 45,000 GPD. The wastewater treatment plant was upgraded in 2008 to allow the plant to operate more efficiently.

Saluda is permitted to purchase 0.2 MGD from Hendersonville. Saluda at one time produced its own water but began purchasing water in the early 1970s. At that time Saluda built a water booster station and a 200,000-gallon storage tank. Saluda supplies approximately 660 residential and commercial customers with water.

The city’s water system includes approximately 14 miles of lines ranging from 1.5 inches to 12 inches in diameter. The monthly average water purchased in Saluda is 3,900,000 gallons.

Hollifield said in his CIP plan that a water loss of 51 percent would be unusually high for a system with lines that are new, or less than 20 years old or a system that regularly replaces its lines as they age.

The city’s 14 miles of water line includes nearly 4,000 pipe joints, which is where most, if not all of the system loses water.

“The best way to reduce water loss in the city’s system would be to ensure calibration of water meters, with the main focus being on the master meter from Hendersonville,” states the draft CIP. “Continue with leak detection practices, and begin a systematic approach to replacing the oldest and most problematic water lines within the system.”

The following projects are listed in the city’s draft CIP plan for the next 20 years. Hollifield included a rate increase schedule from 2014-2034 to pay for the upgrades but city commissioners have also discussed financing the needed improvements.

Total sewer projects include $1,002,420 and total water projects listed in the plan include $588,320. If approved, the plan will need to be upgraded on an annual basis as progress is made and more projects are identified.

Sewer projects

Gravity sewer from Chestnut St. to US 176 lift station

The draft CIP plans this project will eliminate an old septic treatment system that was installed in the early 1900s. The estimated cost is $162,610.

Columbia Ave. sewer line replacement

The area covered is currently being served by an old 4-inch sanitary sewer service line, according to the draft CIP. The line needs to be increased in size to meet state standards, and needs to be completed prior to planned resurfacing of the road. No shoulder exists on either side of the road, so the sewer will have to be placed underneath the pavement.

The estimated cost is $93,370.

Poplar St. sewer line replacement

Similarly this area is currently being served by an old 4-inch sanitary sewer service line. The line needs to be increased in size to an 8-inch line to meet state standards. The line is over 60 years old and is comprised of clay pipe, which tends to have joints with poor seals, according to Hollifield.

The estimated cost is $41,590.

Gravity sewer from Henderson St. lift station to SR1142 lift station

This project will eliminate two poorly functioning and inefficient lift stations by gravity flow from the wetwells of these stations to a larger and more efficient lift station along SR1142, according to Hollifield. The two lift stations being eliminated are approximately 30 to 50 years in age.

One of the stations has a significant grease problem, requiring cleaning through suction every month because of grease residue sitting and cooling in the wetwell.

The estimated cost is $481,330.

Hwy 176 lift station refubish

The Hwy 176 lift station is the “prime” lift station in the city, states the draft CIP. The lift station has only one pump and does not meet the required redundancy as specified by state statutes.

The wetwell consists of 12 septic tanks tied together, making maintenance of the station difficult. Switching to new, higher efficiency pumps and 3‐ phase power will save considerable expense over the current pump in operation.

The estimated cost is $83,160.

Shand Street Sewer Line

Shand Street is another old sewer line in need of replacement with the existing line being six inches and not meeting state minimum requirement for gravity sewer.

The project will replace the 6-inch line with an 8-inch line, as well as extend sewer to catch houses that are currently served by a 4-inch sewer line located behind the homes.

The estimated cost is $83,160.

Hart Street Sewer Line

This project will replace an undersized, old line to bring it into compliance with state requirements.

The estimated cost is $57,200.

Water projects

Refinish 200,000-gallon water storage tank

This tank is the original tank that was installed with the most recent system reconfiguration, resulting in the city purchasing water from the City of Hendersonville.

The tank is over 30 years old and has never been recoated.

The estimated cost is $43,880.

Update primary booster station

This, too, was part of the system reconfiguration changing the water supply for the city to a purchase agreement with Hendersonville.

This project will update the controls so they can be integrated into a SCADA system, update the interior of the building and supply two new pumps to replace the existing 30‐ year old pumps, according to Hollifield. The estimated cost is $59,500.

Main St. and Hwy 176 water line interconnect

This is the first of three system interconnect projects that are recommended in this study, states the draft CIP.

The city, due to significant elevation changes, has significantly different pressures areas and one thing that can be done to help alleviate pressure drops is to connect nearby/intersecting lines to one another, allowing increased flows to these areas.

The interconnect will allow areas along Irving and Andrews Streets to have water delivered directly from the 12-inch line from Hendersonville and eliminate 1.5 miles of travel.

The estimated cost is $14,290.

East Columbia Avenue Water Line

The project will create a connection between two existing water lines on Columbia

Ave, according to the draft CIP. The project will improve pressures and water quality as well as allow for better system operation during periods of repair (isolation), according to Hollifield.

The estimated cost is $104,160.

Shand Street Water Line Replacement and Extension

This project will replace two undersized service lines, as well as close a loop on Shand Street, according to the draft CIP.

The lines in are over 60 years old, and the pressure is low because of the undersized, dead‐end lines.

The estimated is $237,470.

Hart Street Water Line Extension

This project will replace very old (60+ years) and severely undersized lines within the area, according to the draft CIP.

The existing line is 1.5-inches which is not permitted for use in any circumstance by

state statutes.

The estimated cost is $102,960.

Ozone Drive Interconnects

These two interconnections will allow nearby areas access to flows from the new, larger 10-inch water line that connects the City of Saluda to the City of Saluda, according to the draft plan. This will not only help the city by increasing flow and water quality in these areas, but will also keep the water in the municipal interconnect from stagnating during periods of infrequent use, Hollifield said.

The estimated cost is $26,060.