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Bethlehem sewer pump stations to be renovated

Bethlehem's sewer pump stations are getting a $5.2 million makeover.

The Bethlehem Town Board discussed replacing seven aging sewer pump stations, some of which were originally built in the 1930s, according to the town's commissioner of public works, Josh Cansler. The Town Board did not officially adopt the plan, but held a discussion on it during its March 26 meeting.

We will be taking the existing pump stations and renovating them, Cansler said. "We will use the same building structure and replace the pumps inside of them."

Supervisor Jack Cunningham said the $5.2 million would be bonded over a three-year period to pay for the upgrades, which he said were necessary.

"Some of the stations were built back in the '40s," he said.

Cansler pointed out that some of the stations were actually originally built in the 1930s.

"The newer stations are designed to keep employees out of harms way," Cunningham said, referring to the fact that town employees currently have to monitor the older pump stations and "crawl around" to perform maintenance.

The new stations will have computerized monitoring systems installed in order to constantly monitor the stations from a centralized off-site location. The field operations division of the town's public works department monitors all sewer pump stations.

There are 37 pump stations throughout Bethlehem, according to Cansler, and the renovation plan calls to replace three this year and four next year. The contracting work for the replacements will be placed out to bid for the lowest contract, he said.

"The stations pump the sewer out of the lower areas," Cansler said. "It's pumped to another station or directly into the sewer system."

Cunningham said some of the stations were built next to developments and the stations pump sewage up from homes and into the town's municipal system.

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