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County updating sewage station

It's hard not to notice the 10-foot-tall green pipe, not to mention all the construction equipment and workers on the south end of Indian Rocks Road at McKay Creek.

The county is upgrading a 25-year-old sewage lift station. The pipe is actually a fiberglass liner for the station's wet well that collects sewage from various locations before it's pumped to a sewage plant for treatment.

Galen Hofmann, assistant director of the Pinellas County Sewer System, said the $150,000 project includes outfitting the station with new control panels, new electrical alarm system, new wet well, new valve chamber and new pumps.

The old station pumped about 1,250 gallons of sewage a minute, Hofmann said. The new one will handle 1,500 gallons a minute, he said. The station serves about 2,500 homes, he said.

"We haven't had any problems with this station, but replacement parts are getting very hard to acquire, the pumps are getting old, and it's time to modernize before something happens," Hofmann said.

This station is one of the county's 234 lift stations, ranging in size from those able to pump 100 gallons a minute to 6,000 gallons a minute, he said. The project is to be completed in about a month, he said.

The city of Largo is also busy with its sewer system. It is improving five of its lift stations and building a new one.

Largo City Engineer Jim Petrak said the city has a $1.6-million contract for the work that started in May, and it should be finished in December.

The new station, on 14th Street behind Largo Medical Center, was finished in July, Petrak said. A 20-year-old station behind the New Atlantis condominiums on Indian Rocks Road needed to be replaced and that project has also been completed, he said.

Work is being done on a lift station on Adrian Avenue. That station is about 20 years old and is to be totally replaced, Petrak said. Work is to begin this week on a station on Wilcox Road, he said. Another station at Eighth Avenue and Crescent Driver will also be improved. Work on that station has not begun. The fifth station scheduled for improvement is at Seacrest Drive in the Keene Park area, Petrak said.