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The Golden Heart Utilities Wastewater Collection System is comprised of a series of manholes and wastewater mains feeding into wastewater lift stations located throughout our system. The lift stations are necessary due to the relatively flat terrain of Fairbanks. Our wastewater collection mains are constructed as a gravity flow system which flow into the lift stations. The lift stations then pump the wastewater to the treatment plant.
Many of our wastewater collection mains are constructed of wood stave pipe that is usually more than 50 years old. As a practical matter, it is difficult to rehabilitate a wastewater main without disrupting service to many customers at a time. To reduce the impact upon our customers and contain the costs, we use a trenchless technology called U-Liner™ to rehabilitate the old deteriorated lines. We employ this technology because it provides a solution at a fraction of the cost and less disruption to our customers compared to replacement via direct bury. The liner is an HDPE (high density polyethylene) plastic that extends the life of the original main by more than 40 years.
Innovative management tools and procedures have been implemented in the wastewater collection system to create efficiencies and improve overall operations. Foremost among these is the Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system installed to remotely monitor the lift stations. Included in this system is equipment to observe and control pump conditions, status of lift station components, and alarm situations. The system will prevent workers from having to travel from station to station to locate a particular problem and it will also aid in reestablishing wastewater pumping operations during outages. Not only will SCADA provide efficiency, it can reduce the potential for customer impacts.
During winter months we have developed a system of flushing low flow wastewater mains with warm wastewater from our system. The warmer wastewater is pumped from a lift station into a truck and then later deposited into an identified low flow manhole to prevent freezing of the mains. This procedure has worked extremely well and has reduced the necessity of using steam to thaw frozen wastewater mains.
If you would like to learn more about the wastewater collection mains in our system please contact us.