County recommends $100K sewer upgrade

Published 6:25 pm Friday, August 24, 2018

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Based upon the preliminary results of a capacity study of the county-owned sewer system in the town of Windsor, Isle of Wight County’s Department of Utility Services has recommended that the system be outfitted with a nearly $100,000 upgrade.

Don Jennings, the county’s director of utility services, explained to Windsor’s Town Council on Tuesday that the upgrade would be an early warning system intended to reduce waterlogging and associated field time needed to keep the vacuum system operating.

The way the system works, he said, is that a vacuum pulls sewage flow into the collection system through individual pots and through what he termed a “sawtooth” collection system into larger tanks in the vacuum sewer pump station. At this station, traditional sewer pumps pull the flow from the vacuum tanks and pump it into the county’s force main to the Hampton Roads Sanitation District’s force main.

Waterlogging occurs, he explained, when the amount of liquid in the sawtooth overwhelms the ability of the vacuum to pull sewage to the pump station. Jennings said the upgrade would provide the county with the ability to remotely monitor the vacuum and would include alarms that would go off when the system was on the verge of being overwhelmed, but before waterlogging actually occurs.

The monitoring system would be installed at the pump station located near Windsor High School, and would be able to monitor the sewer system for a 1-mile radius, encompassing most of the town.

The sewer study also indicated that while three of the four legs of the system had more capacity than was originally thought, the first leg of the system, which covers Church Street and parts of east Windsor Boulevard (Route 460,) is nearly at capacity. Jennings estimated that fewer than 20 new connections could be accommodated. The county is currently evaluating new connection requests in Windsor on a case-by-case basis.

The county plans to work out a cost-sharing agreement with the Town of Windsor to fund the upgrade. The actual cost of the upgrade, Jennings said, is about $91,000. He added that the county is looking into another manufacturer in hopes to get the best pricing.