Was a major monkey wrench just thrown into the lower Florida Keys sewer commotion?

pelican poopingmonkey wrench

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This arrived today:


From: Bgprevatt@________
Date: Thu, 2 Jan 2014 07:58:53 -0500
Subject: Gravity people also cannot flush!
To: bgprevatt@aol.com
CC: boccdis1@monroecounty-fl.gov; boccdis2@monroecounty-fl.gov; boccdis3@monroecounty-fl.gov; boccdis4@monroecounty-fl.gov; boccdis5@monroecounty-fl.gov

FYI — this comes to me from someone with knowledge of the local design.

Blind copy 100+

From: To: Bgprevatt@_______
Sent: 12/31/2013 6:12:49 P.M. Eastern Standard Time
Subj: Gravity people also cannot flush!
We really need to get the word out to people that think all is well because they have gravity. They actually have LESS time flushing normally than individual grinders.when the power is out! Everyone in the CRWS should be fighting this design!

When you have more than 40 houses on a lift station wetwell, each home has about 1/4 the reserve capacity of a grinder pit, on average, before overflow. There is some extra capacity in the pipes, but over 40 homes are filling them, too. When the pipes are full, it’s on the ground or on your floor, maybe both.

Because the lift stations are using the same slow-pumping E-1 grinders as the individual pump stations, they will need nearly continuous pumping when the power is out and people are awake. Because the CRWS uses dozens of lift stations, there will need to be too many generators and too many workers mobilized to keep lift stations pumped 24/7 in a widespread outage. Meanwhile, 1700+ individual grinders will also need pumping. It will not happen. Overflows will be everywhere. Channel 7 will be on the scene, in hazmat gear to stifle the smell.

What is the solution? A redesign is imperative.

Vacuum sewers come with backup generators at the vacuum pump station to provide power for uninterrupted service, so that is one solution and possibly the best for this situation- not that they are perfect. The good news is that you connect by gravity to a vacuum pit in the road maintained by FKAA, and you have uninterrupted service in a power outage.

A STEP system (septic tank effluent pumping) would allow use of the forcemains already in the ground, and the existing drainfield can be used as it is now if power goes out. The power demand is low and and the pumps are relatively cheap, so if you don’t feel like giving an easement, it is not a big expense to put your own pump in. The County would not like you keeping your septic tank, but DEP actually encourages that. Under normal circumstances, the effluent is not discharged, it is pumped away for further treatment. Charlotte County rejected grinders in favor of STEP. ( http://www.fwrj.com/techarticles/1208%20FWRJ_tech2.pdf )

The gravity lift stations should be using faster pumps and backup generators as well if that’s what it takes to realistically maintain service. It is a big mistake to be using residential grinders in a lift station- especially progressive cavity grinders. I wonder if the manufacturer approves, or is it just the grinder salesman’s company that is happy?
Another possibility is that the lift stations could perhaps be converted to vacuum buffer tanks if a vacuum station is in the vicinity to serve a less densely populated neighborhood.

How do we alert the gravity people that the design is still a mess and they will also be without service when the power is out?
To me, E-One seems to me to be the biggest problem in the whole CRWS design. It is limiting the entire system to its special characteristics.


Maybe you blow up a Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority work crew and get arrested and jailed and tried and convicted? Just joking. You might post the above, if you didn’t already, on www.bigpinekeycom‘s Coconut Telegraph, and send it to all local journalists, and to State Representative Holly Raschein,

Holly Raschein 2

and to Governor Scott,

Rick Scott

if you know a way to get through his mail screening guards.

Sloan at Coco's

Sloan Bashinsky


There is a different post at www.goodmorningkeywest.com, which you should be able to reach by clicking on that link today, and by clicking on this link at any time:

may you live in interesting times – Key West praise reports: dead Thanksgiving Day tourist reenactment by Police Chief Donie Lee, R.I.P.; Tibetan Buddhist ceremony enlightenment report; Conch Color Magazine, among legions of others, hoodwinked by Pope Francis all who do good go to heaven joke, which ain’t the real joke


About Sloan

That's what this website is about, also goodmorningkeywest.com and goodmorningbirmingham.com. If you can't get a publisher to take on your wacky musing, you do it yourself.
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