Landis moving forward with sewer system improvements at South Upright Street lift station

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 14, 2021

By Natalie Anderson
natalie.anderson@salisburypost.com

LANDIS — Construction on a project replacing more than 3,000 feet of sewer infrastructure at the South Upright Street lift station in Landis is expected to begin next summer.

The project was first approved under former Town Manager Reed Linn, who resigned in February 2019 when the State Bureau of Investigations opened a criminal probe into the town’s finances. A year later, the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality emailed former Town Manager Roger Hosey in March 2020 to notify him the project was approved for a loan from the Clean Water State Revolving Fund.

The loan request was initially $2.29 million, with up to $500,000 forgiven and 0% interest over 20 years. Town Manager Diane Seaford told board members during a meeting Monday that former Interim Town Manager Leonard Barefoot worked with Linn last year to scale back the project given the town’s financial issues at the time. Additionally, a project at that cost would require the town to significantly raise user fees to fund the town’s share. Now, the project will cost $1.02 million, with $500,000 still forgiven and no interest paid for 20 years.

The project will replace 3,673 linear feet of 8-inch terra cotta, or clay, sewer pipes and 21 brick manholes in the South Upright Street sewer basin. The infrastructure is part of the town’s original sewer system dating back to the 1950s. Replacing the old and deteriorated sewers with PVC pipes will decrease the amount of inflow and infiltration from untreated rain water that seeps into the system.

In November 2020, approximately 25,000 gallons of rainwater overflowed the South Upright lift station with up to 15,000 gallons reaching Coldwater Creek. The spill was due to inflow and infiltration from rain totaling 3 inches in less than 24 hours.

“Overall, our system is in a similar condition to other systems of our size,” Seaford said at the meeting. “That is not necessarily good news. But it is a known issue not only in North Carolina, but (also) across the country.”

The project is led by Gary Flowers of Municipal Engineering Services Co., based out of Garner. In a letter to Seaford, he said the project is still in the design phase, with final plans likely submitted for state approval in the fall. He estimates work could begin next summer with completion sometime in the 2022-23 fiscal year, which spans from July 1, 2022, to June 30, 2023.

Contact reporter Natalie Anderson at 704-797-4246.