By Beth Lawrence

A project to replace an aging wastewater lift station has been given the go-ahead by the Tuckaseigee Water and Sewer Authority board.

The Jackson Paper lift station will replace two 50-year-old lift stations along Scotts Creek with a single station that does the work of both. The previous stations are at the end of their expected lifespan, former TWSA Director Dan Harbaugh said.

A lift station is a system to move wastewater from a lower elevation to a higher one where the slope is steep enough to impede the natural gravitational flow.

The new station also addresses odor control problems reported during peak flow periods with the current system.

“The project is designed and permits are in place, next step is finalizing project easements with property owners and discussing impacts and scheduling with them also,” Harbaugh said. “Advertisement of the project will be taking place this fall.”

The need was identified in the 2016-17 fiscal year, and TWSA began to search for grants and loans to cover the cost of the work. The project budget is $1,765,200.

The Local Government Commission approved an interest free loan for $1,136,400 from the Department of Environmental Quality’s Division of Water Infrastructure and $378,800 in NCDEQ/DWI grant funds. The remainder will be covered by $250,000 in TWSA capital funding.

The affected area spans from Innovation Brewing Company southeast to Jackson Paper Manufacturing’s Main Office, along West Main Street.

“Most work is outside of the roadway, except for the area between Scotts Creek and Innovation Brewing,” Harbaugh said.

There will be times when traffic and parking are affected as construction begins on replacement sewer lines along East Main Street.

“Those times will be determined with the contractor when bid, and advanced notices will be provided to property owners and the public,” Harbaugh said.

Construction is expected to take place over the winter and spring and take approximately six months. 

TWSA ran into a problem with placement of the new station due to proposed improvements to the road but has worked with the Department of Transportation to find a solution.

“They’re changing the road alignment at the bridge in front of Jackson Paper, moving the road toward Scotts Creek,” Harbaugh said. “The final location of our work is approved by NCDOT and meets all required permitting also.”