The extremely powerful Hurricane Irma caused widespread destruction across much of southwest Florida in 2017, including to the City of North Port, where the storm created emergency inflow and infiltration issues, power outages and extensive property damage. The City needed immediate funding to improve the overall reliability of the sewer collection system during future emergency events.
By: David Perry, Municipal Sales Manager for Thompson Pump and Manufacturing Company
The City of North Port’s grant specialists got to work and quickly submitted a proposal for a Community Development Block Grant for Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) and a Community Development Block Grant for Mitigation (CDBG-MIT). North Port was awarded these CDBG funds in fiscal year 2022 through the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
With the funding now available, North Port’s Utilities Department implemented a forward-thinking approach towards effective emergency preparedness and determined the most effective use of the money was to immediately implement two effective solutions: (1) CIPP Pipe Lining (Cured-In-Place), which is a trenchless rehabilitation method used to repair existing pipelines, on the wastewater collection system to minimize inflow and infiltration; and (2) install stationary bypass pumps at eight wastewater lift stations throughout the city to prevent sanitary sewer overflows.
The City of North Port now has approximately 35 stationary Thompson Pumps already installed at new and existing pump stations. “The City of North Port’s Utilities Department and grant team have always prioritized emergency preparedness to protect its residents, visitors and the environment,” said Perry. “It is truly remarkable the work they do and only one of the many reasons why people from all over the globe are proud to call North Port home.”
Thompson Pump recommended these JSC series pumps to maximize operational efficiency and provide redundancy at each station with an emergency bypass. The standard specification developed by North Port more than six years ago allows the city to obtain the highest quality pumping system. More importantly, these Thompson Pump models are sized to handle the peak flow rates, maximum TDH and maximum suction lift required at each station. In addition, these stationary Thompson Pumps operate intermittently which allows the pump to consume less diesel fuel during each emergency event. It was important to account for other variables, such as inflow and infiltration, where the pump has more flexibility and reduces the overall risk of an SSO during any major rain event. Overall, the functional intention of any sewer pump station is to move water to the treatment plant and diesel-driven generators don’t do that.
The eight pumps for North Port will be heading into production at Thompson Pump later this year. The team plans to have them all built, delivered and installed before the 2024 hurricane season starts on June 1, 2024.