Shafter, Calif. is a growing city with a vision for the future. Located near the southern end of the San Joaquin Valley, about 10 miles northwest of Bakersfield and two hours north of Los Angeles, the town of 14,000 is quickly adding residents.
In the last two years, the town has annexed more than 5,000 acres as it prepares to accommodate commercial and industrial growth, as well as more than 11,000 new residential units. Planners foresee the town tripling in population over the next 20 years.
The growth is noticeable in both the commercial and residential sector, creating a challenge for the town’s public works department, which must ensure that the capacity of the sewer infrastructure remains adequate for present growth, as well as for future demands.
An integral part of the town’s growth strategy is the use of pre-engineered wastewater lift stations supplied by Romtec  Two of the sewage pump systems have been designed and manufactured to Shafter's standards and supplied by Romtec Utilities, Inc.  for installation by the city's public works department staff.
“We’re starting to grow on the outskirts of town, where the sewer lines are shallow,” says Kevin Gibson, the city’s public works director. “In the corners and outer edges we’re putting lift stations in so we can develop it out further.”
When the brand-new Sequoia Elementary School (click here for school photo)  was built, public works officials knew they needed to plan for a burst of residential development.
Installation of the lift station began in the winter of 2004, with city public works maintenance staff providing most of the installation work (click here for installation photo).  The lift station ties the school and a new residential subdivision across the street, as well as future developments, into the nearest main line, which couldn’t be fed by gravity.
The lift station also has the added benefit of blending in with its surroundings.
“We’ve always hidden ours behind a big block wall,” said Gibson. “This one blends in just perfectly with the landscaping.”
When Performance Food Groups decided to vacate a leased facility in Bakersfield and buy their own, the city of Shafter had the perfect site for the company's warehouse and cold storage operation. The city had recently annexed a piece of vacant land with an eye toward future commercial-industrial growth.
In order to accommodate that growth, city engineers immediately installed a Romtec Utilities  pre-engineered lift station. The lift station transfers effluent a quarter mile to the wastewater treatment plant.
This is a strategy that is working for the city, both financially and operationally.
For Shafter  , two of the most attractive features of the pre-engineered package lift station are its simplicity and ease of maintenance.
The Sequoia School and Performance Foods Group lift stations are up and running, and more pre-engineered lift stations figure prominently in the city’s future plans.
Megan Monson is a Writer for Romtec Utilities Inc., She can be reached at 541-496-9678, or by email at [email protected] .