Keeping the Underground Underground
There are two full time employees on the maintenence staff and a third part time staff, who serves as called upon.
Roger Prinz has been Chief of Maintenance since 1994. He also serves in the Army Reserves and did two tours of duty in the Iraq war. The last tour ended in January of 2009.
The maintenance staff inspects each of the ten pump stations once a day, seven days a week, each day of the year. Not only are they responsible that the pumps, mechanical and electrical systems are functioning properly, but they are also are responsible for the upkeep of the buildings and grounds at each of the facilities operated by the WPCA. Simple repairs are done in-house, but rebuilding motors and pumps is too big a job, so that work is contracted out.
Interestingly, each station has two pumps and out going pipe lines for redundancy. Waste water flow fills into underground tanks, then is pumped to the next station or to the next town. The pumps work alternately with pump A working one time, then pump B working the next time. Any differences in the cycle times indicates some sort of problem that must be addressed.
After the pump drains the storage tank, check valves prevent back flow. Here original check valves installed circa 1996 are being replaced at the Route 133 station in July 2010.
Dave Will has served in a maintenance and monitoring position full time since 2004 and part-time for a few years before that. David, shown below, is assisting with the valve job as necessary and serving as a safety watch as required for confined space activity.
David is responsible for the inspection and administration of the Fat, Oils and Grease (FOG) program. Each food estabilishment must have a grease trap which is pumped at a schedule depending on the quantity of fats that are discharged. The grease trap prevents solid fats from entering the sewer piping.
By inspecting each grease trap every quarter, issues of clogging the piping and pump station in the town have been eliminated. This program in Brookfield is a considered one of the best in the state and looked to as a model of excellence.