Friday, May 27, 2022

DEQ to loan Leland $1.1 million to relocate flood-prone sewage station

Leland will vote to accept a $1.1 million loan from the state to relocate one of its wastewater treatment stations as a "preventative measure" to keep sewage from leaking into Sturgeon Creek.

Leland's Lift Station #14 next to the Sturgeon Creek bridge could soon be relocated using state funds. (Port City Daily photo/Johanna Ferebee)
Leland’s Lift Station #14 next to the Sturgeon Creek bridge could soon be relocated using state funds. (Port City Daily photo/Johanna Ferebee)

LELAND—A sewage lift station neighboring Sturgeon Creek in Leland could soon be relocated to prevent future spills.

Last month, the Department of Environmental Quality sent Leland documents confirming a $1.1 million loan to complete the wastewater project.

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The lift station is being relocated away from Sturgeon Creek due to the risk of flooding and sewage overflows, according to Cathy Akroyd, spokesperson for the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (NCDEQ) Division of Water Infrastructure.

Akroyd said lift stations are relocated due to age, fluctuating populations, changing creek uses, storm events or potential or recorded sewage overflows.

“In the case of Leland’s Lift Station #14, the lift station relocation will help to prevent potential environmental impacts that can occur from sanitary sewer overflows,” Akroyd wrote in an email.

Located at 161 South Navassa Road, Lift Station 14 is just a few hundred feet from the bank of Sturgeon Creek. Last January, 50,000 gallons of untreated wastewater spilled from a cracked pipe on Timber Lane, with 40,000 gallons reaching Sturgeon Creek.

Lift stations, also referred to as pump stations, are used to transport sewage from lower to higher elevations. According to the town’s resolution to accept the state loan, Leland wants to move Lift Station 14 to higher ground.

“The Town desires to relocate the lift station to a higher location, away from Sturgeon Creek, to prevent any contamination entering the creek from possible sewer overflows,” the resolution states.

Leland’s Town Council will vote to approve the state’s loan Thursday, awarded by the North Carolina Division of Water Infrastructure. Congress allocates funding for wastewater treatment facilities and updates and in turn, the state matches 20 percent of the amount for projects it awards. Council voted to approve applying for the loan in April 2017 as “a preventative measure.”

The state’s loan includes the relocation and installation of a 12-foot diameter lift station, valve vault, gravity sewer, and force main which will connect to existing facilities.

Lift Station #14, located a few hundred feet from Sturgeon Creek, could be relocated if the Town of Leland approves a $1.1 million Department of Environmental Quality loan it was granted last month. (Port City Daily photo/Johanna Ferebee)
Lift Station #14, located a few hundred feet from Sturgeon Creek, could be relocated if the Town of Leland approves a $1.1 million Department of Environmental Quality loan it was granted last month. (Port City Daily photo/Johanna Ferebee)

Send tips to Johanna Ferebee at johanna@localvoicemedia.com or follow Johanna on Twitter @j__ferebee

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