Tuesday, March 15, 2011

TOP STORY >> Sewer grant may pay for a generator

Leader staff writer

The Jacksonville Wastewater Department has applied for an $187,000 grant for a generator to protect the integrity of the system during a power outage.

As part of the grant process the city utility most hold a public hearing on the planned purchase and how it will be used. That hearing is set for 7 p.m. Thursday at city hall.

Bob Williams, with the department, said this is no ordinary generator. It is capable of 440 volts and multiple connections. He said it will be permanently installed at the east pump station on Loop Road.

The pump station services about the eastern two-thirds of Jacksonville.

“We have one portable generator now that we move to where it is needed, and we’ve had that generator since before I started here 14 years ago,” Williams said.

He said the department doesn’t have a lot of power outages to its system, but they do occur. “The biggest problem has to do with the system backing up and manholes overflowing,” Williams said.

The pump station where the department wants to permanently install the generator is located very close to a creek. “We definitely do not want any overflow getting into the creek and the area’s natural water system,” he said.

If there are no objections at the hearing, the department should have the generator on line in the next few months.