PINEDALE – The Pinedale Town Council approved a motion Monday to fix continuing issues at the town’s wastewater treatment facility. The cost is not to exceed $25,000.
Pinedale Public Works Department Supervisor Randy Hubbard explained the problems, which resulted in three-and-a-half feet of water in the treatment facility on Saturday.
“It was just an interior issue associated with this three-phase power problem we have. Our battery backup system went down and fried on us. It just put everything offline,” Hubbard told the Roundup, noting residents’ wastewater treatment was not affected, and the facility was up-and-running, sans water, later Saturday.
A couple motors sustained water damage, and while the motors are drying out now, it is likely repairs will be necessary. The damaged battery backup system and other damaged areas have been “piecemealed” together to assure the treatment plant is operational, Hubbard confirmed.
The facility’s issues date back a year. The “three-phase power problem” creates inconsistencies in the power supply in the facility, causing damaged equipment and system failures and, in turn, money spent.
“We’ve been throwing parts into it to keep it running, and we haven’t been fixing anything,” he said.
Public Works employees simply don’t know what’s causing the problems, and a previous meeting with Rocky Mountain Power yielded no solutions.
“If it’s something to do with the power supply coming down to our facility, then we’ve got to get Rocky Mountain Power to get it corrected. Or it could be something wrong with our power supply at our facility; we just don’t know,” Hubbard said.
The town committed an amount of $45,000 at the May 14 town council meeting for Siemens to try to locate the issue. The company has already begun the process.
“They’ve got equipment on there now, and they’re just trying to figure out what’s happening and why it’s affecting our equipment like it is,” Hubbard noted, adding Siemens has said it could take up to six months. “They just set up their equipment, and they’re going to monitor the power. Every 30 days or so, they’re going to get the results, and they’re going to try to find the problem.”
Council members expressed some concerns with the high cost of repairs and the problems with the system considering its age. It was installed in 2006.
However, Hubbard noted the speed of technological advances nowadays and said some of the infrastructure is too old to be replaced.
“A lot of the equipment out there is outdated. It’s six years old, but, I mean, it’s obsolete. Like our battery backup system, they don’t make that system anymore. We have to put something different in. I’m sure the UV system we have down there has been upgraded since 2006,” he said.
Mayor Steve Smith and the council members realized the changes were “necessary,” but, even so, the problems at the treatment facility have frustrated public works.
“We can’t prevent it because, how do you know when it’s going to happen? We don’t know what’s going to fry next; we just don’t know. So all we can do is keep a vigilant eye on it and try to catch it before it causes too much damage when it does,” Hubbard said. “Hopefully we can get some results, and the sooner the better for us. I mean, we’ve been doing this for more than a year now, and it’s getting kind of old.”