The City of Valdosta Utilities Department will be placing ten generators at lift stations around the city. The generators will help to ensure that the city experiences fewer power outages which can sometimes result in sewer spills. Recently, the first generator was installed at the pump station at Hyde Park. All ten generators will be installed before the upcoming hurricane season.
In the event of a power outage that occurs for more than an hour, a lift station would lose pumping capabilities, which could ultimately lead to a sewer spill. The new generators are designed to take the place of utility power. It will automatically turn on and run as long as it is needed. The generator can run normal pump usage for up to 3 or 4 days on one tank of fuel. The Utilities Department also has the capability of refueling in-house in order to cut down on time spent having to wait on fuel.
These generators were built locally at Powerhouse Diesel Generators and can run for 30 years without needing major maintenance. “It is standard equipment and state of the art digital controls that we can actually work on. They’re not locked down so we don’t need a manufacturer to come out and troubleshoot it for us. If we do need help, Powerhouse is right here,” said Thomas Hess, Central Maintenance Superintendent.
The benefit of having the generators at the pump stations is to be proactive instead of reactive during storms or power outage events. One of the city’s short term goals is to have no sewer spills and these generators will help with that. "I've been with the city for 9 years and since I've been here, we've been working on plans for major improvements. This has been a goal of mine since I manage the pump stations, but the city is going all out to manage the sewer spills. It's a non-stop process," said Hess. "It's a huge step forward in reliability and safety for the citizens of Valdosta."
Emergency cell phones are built into the lift stations so if there is a power outage, the pump station mechanics will be notified and the generator will come on and take the place of the power. The Utilities Department is also in the process of purchasing a city-wide control system so all of the mechanics will be able to check on stations via cell phone.
If you have any questions, please call the Utilities Department at 229-259-3594.