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Lake Station tackles sanitary sewer project
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Lake Station tackles sanitary sewer project

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STOCK_Lake Station City Hall

Lake Station City Hall

LAKE STATION — An estimated $1.2 million in sanitary sewer enhancements are coming to Lake Station, and city officials said the upgrades have long been needed.

Lake Station Chief of Staff Adrian Vera said two lift stations are being replaced and the city plans to line a sewer main.

“We're excited about it,” Vera said.

One of the lift stations being replaced is located on Fayette Street, and it was built in 1968. The station is housed in a metal structure that's 23 feet below the surface grade, Vera said.

He said that metal structure has been “rusting away.” If groundwater were able to penetrate it, the lift station would be inoperable.

“Out of the five remaining stations of this type in the city, the Fayette station is by far in the worst condition and is ready for complete failure at any time,” Vera said.

The city also will replace a lift station in the Viking Village area, which is south of 31st Avenue.

Vera said that lift station, which was built in 1981, is listed as a sanitary sewer overflow point by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.

“It currently sets in a floodway and has little to no holding time for sewage in case of an emergency,” Vera said.

During immense flooding in 2008, the lift station was submerged in water for three weeks.

Besides being replaced, the station will be moved to a different nearby location.

“Replacing this station will allow it to be uphill and out of the floodway and further be removed from the IDEM (sanitary sewer overflow) list,” Vera said.

While replacing the Fayette station, the city also will line a gravity sewer that runs to it.

The cracks in that line have allowed stormwater infiltration into the sanitary system, which has increased flow during heavy rain events and could have contributed to sewage backups in basements.

The project will help alleviate those issues, Vera said.

He estimated all of the work will cost $1.2 million. The City Council authorized an interfund loan of $600,000 from the general fund to help pay for the work. Funding from the Sanitary Sewer District also will be used to cover the costs of the project. An ordinance associated with the temporary loan calls for it to be repaid by June.

A construction schedule hasn't been released, but city officials expect the work will get underway as soon as possible.

City Councilman Rick Long said the infrastructure improvements are long overdue.

Although the city has been aware of issues, Lake Station hasn't had sufficient funding to pursue the project sooner, he said.

Recent arrests booked into Lake County Jail

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