Sewer agreement for Anoka, Coon Rapids

The city of Anoka has approved a joint powers agreement with neighboring Coon Rapids to handle sanitary sewer from more than 40 Anoka households.

The homes are currently served by a lift station operated by the city of Anoka.

This change will mean cost savings for Anoka, according to Greg Lee, the city’s public services director and engineer.

“With the 2012 street reconstruction project we’ve got the opportunity to eliminate this lift station by connecting into the sanitary sewer system in Coon Rapids,” said Lee.

City staff have worked out an agreement with Coon Rapids to do just that, with the Coon Rapids City Council approving the joint powers agreement back on Feb. 21.

Anoka has been serving the area around River, Queens and Eastwood lanes since 1966 with sanitary sewer, when lift station was put in at the corner of River Lane and Ninth Avenue.

The lift station costs $5,000 each year to operate, according to Lee.

This includes staff time, equipment maintenance and power outages. Along with these costs are the issues surrounding power outages or mechanical and electrical issues.

The cost to connect to the Coon Rapids system is $3,000, while the cost to rehabilitate the lift station’s force main is about $10,000, Lee told the city council last Monday.

“So there’s about a $7,000 savings right off the bat in addition to our estimated annual savings of about $5,000,” he said.

Anoka currently operates 18 lift stations throughout the city. According to city staff, every opportunity to eliminate a lift station should be pursued to reduce costs and improve efficiency.

“Right now all the effluent is collected at River Lane and Ninth and then it is pumped from the lift station to Birch and Ninth,” said Lee. “By eliminating this lift station everything will flow through gravity into Coon Rapids.”

Lee said this is a superior way to handle effluent.

“A gravity system is by far safer,” said Lee. “There is really very little that can go wrong with a gravity system other than plugging up a pipeline. But by taking that effluent and pumping it through a lift station there are a lot of things that can go wrong.”

There could be a power outage or mechanical failure that would cause sewage backup into people’s homes.

Lee said the city’s 42 utility customers that use the current lift station should not notice any difference once hooked up to Coon Rapids’ system.

“The customers won’t know the difference; it will be just the same as it always has been,” Lee said.

Mandy Moran Froemming is at [email protected]