One Point of Contact

July 20, 2006

Wastewater and storm water lift stations are traditionally created one at a time, requiring lengthy design work and arduous on-site construction. The site build is often plagued by compatibility issues between components supplied by different vendors, as well as on-site contractor changes.

When the city of Camas, Wash., needed a new lift station, engineers considered a traditional approach—and then discarded it in favor of a pre-engineered, package submersible lift station.

"We wanted the quality components, but we did not want to have to deal with multiple vendors," explained Jim Hodges, project engineer for the city of Camas. "We wanted one point of contact."

The approach combines all the components of lift stations and delivers a complete system on-site in one shipment. Municipalities and other station owners get the same easy installation, the same best-in-class components and the same integrated system every single time.

Problem and solution

Camas is a town of 15,000 people on the banks of the Washington side of the Columbia River. Last spring, one of the lift stations that served a Camas neighborhood was failing badly. Built in 1973, the system had come to the end of its useful life.

One of the old vacuum-primed pumps in the duplex pumping system had quit working, and operators had jury-rigged a replacement. "It was on life-support, basically," Hodges said. Peak flow for the lift station was about 325 gpm, and failures were not acceptable.

Initially, city engineers looked at installing a traditional lift station assembled by a contractor, but later they opted for a one-stop-shop approach.

They found a solution with the pre-engineered package submersible lift station offered by Romtec Utilities of Roseburg, Ore.

"The Romtec Utilities station had all of the features we wanted," Hodges said. "The individual components-the pumps, the controller, the wet well-were quality products and were integrated into a system we thought would work for us."

Romtec Utilities brings together some of the most experienced companies in the wastewater industry to develop complete systems that meet a wide range of requirements.

Lift station components arrived in one shipment at the Camas site, where contractors had already done excavation for the wet well. "The whole station was assembled and put together in about four hours, with the electrical work taking another week or so," Hodges said. "Once we started up, it worked perfectly. We haven't had any trouble at all."