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30-year-old Akeley sewer system showing wear

Lift stations and ponds from 1989 have issues that will need to be addressed

Akeley’s sewer system that was installed in 1989 is starting to show its age.

A lift station pump behind the water plant in Akeley failed recently and needed to be replaced at a cost of $15,000.

“It’s been done already because we had no choice,” city water and sewer supervisor Kelly VandenEykel told the council at their July 10 meeting. “Two weeks ago, I got a call that someone down by the lake had water coming into their yard and found out there was a sewer line that was full because the pump wasn’t working.”

VandenEykel said they are “babysitting” another pump at a lift station that has problems. “Our system was put in 30 years ago,” he said. “We’re going to start seeing issues.”

He said when the next lift station maintenance is done he will ask the company for quotes for any items that appear to need work.

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“We’ve had different stuff done like fixing bearings, but the pumps we have now, it’s getting so we can’t find parts anymore,” he said.

“It is what it is,” council member Dan Riggs said.

Another issue is the sewer ponds. “The lifespan of a pond is 25 years,” VandenEykel said. “That’s something you’ve got to start looking at for the future.”

The council suggested looking into grants to assist with the cost of sewer work going forward.

Lorie Skarpness has lived in the Park Rapids area since 1997 and has been writing for the Park Rapids Enterprise since 2017. She enjoys writing features about the people and wildlife who call the north woods home.
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