City flips switch on new water utilityAbout 20 people gathered at 10 a.m. Tuesday to see the River Falls' newest water utility come into service — the North Zone Booster Station located in the Whitetail Ridge Corporate Park.
By: Debbie Griffin, River Falls Journal
About 20 people gathered at 10 a.m. Tuesday to see the River Falls' newest water utility come into service — the North Zone Booster Station located in the Whitetail Ridge Corporate Park.
The new line and booster are needed to maintain proper pressure to customers on the north end of town, especially the corporate park.
Municipal Utility General Manager Carl Gaulke said when water must be transported to points above an elevation of 960 feet, it needs a boost.
One side of the small concrete building holds the 16-inch water line, three pumps of varying sizes, the control panel and lots of electronics. Gaulke said the project involved 2,821 feet of water line and 440 feet of sanitary sewer.
Not including some of the equipment, he said the cost of the project was $982,000.
The other side of the water-booster station holds a diesel-fueled generator that can muster about 600 horsepower to keep the station running in the event of a power outage.
Water utility employee Steve Paurus explained that warm water circulates through the generator’s machinery, so that if it’s needed, it can start up immediately and won’t need time to “warm up.”
The generator also has a venting system that opens when the generator is in use. It is programmed to start once a week and run for about 30 minutes.
Construction on the booster-station housing began last June and finished in about October.
Between then and now, the city worked on the building’s electrical components as well as on installing the pipes and other infrastructure.
A letter from River Falls Municipal Utilities to Whitetail Ridge resident businesses last year said the project will increase customers’ water pressure from 41-55 pounds per square inch to 109-122 psi.
The booster station will eventually connect to a water tower planned for construction in the north zone sometime in the future.
Several representatives from the River Falls Fire Department and municipal utility came to see the station come online, as well as consultants who’d worked on the project such as the city’s engineering consultant, SEH; Altronex Control Systems; and the Universal Sanitary Equipment Manufacturing Company, USEMCO, which makes all the “skid” equipment.