Township Manager Gordon Gallagher said the energy savings could stabilize sewer rates.
The Township Board's most recent sewer increase of $24 per year for residential customers went into effect in April.
Gallagher estimates the township will save about 30 percent in electrical use by switching to variable speed pumps in all of its lift stations.
“They turn on and off gradually, and will be much more efficient,” he explained. “We believe this will assist us in holding down rates and lessen future increases.”
Gallagher said the $5 million infrastructure overhaul is ahead of schedule and about $300,000 under budget. Originally scheduled to be completed in March 2013, Gallagher said this week he expects final touches by the end of this year.
“We're moving right along,” he said. “We have not had any major complications.”
The project is being funded by a $1.2 million federal grant, a $2.6 million low-interest loan from the state, an $800,000 bond and $400,000 in sewer funds.
A total of 34 lift stations that were about 30 years old and “beyond their useful life,” according to Gallagher, are being fitted with new pumps and fittings.
“We have had two situations this summer where we had major pump failure,” Gallagher said. “We didn't realize how close to the end of useful life we were in a couple of places.”
Several stations will also be outfitted with new generators to help prevent backups in the event of power outages.
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