NICHOLS, Iowa– V&K Incorporated, the engineering firm the City of Nichols began working with in August 2019, presented their preliminary recommendations for updating the city’s aging sewer system. Improving the city’s manholes, sewer lines, lift station, and lagoons represents a long term goal of the council’s.
Jason McKenzie of V&K presented the report. Based on video footage of Nichols’ sewer lines and manholes, he recommended lining worn pipes with seamless plastic inserts, which would prevent storm water from entering the sewer and damaging the manholes, as it has in the past. He also recommended replacing the grates a on each of the city’s 35 manholes and sealing them with a chemical grout. Alternatively, the city could opt for the more expensive solution of using epoxy to seal them.
Because Nichols’ lift station opened in the 1970s, McKenzie contended that it, and the pump it houses, have nearly reached the end of their useful lives. He suggested building a new lift station adjacent to the current one, with up-to-date controls and a new pump. He also suggested a standby diesel generator as a beneficial add on the council could consider investing in. McKenzie believed that in the long run, it would prove far more cost effective to replace the lift station all together than to try to replace each outdated, non-compliant part of the old station. After having tested the lagoons, V&K concluded that they remained largely functional, but that they would need to have a foot of sludge removed from them and have several pipes and covers replaced.
All together, the total cost of the sewer repairs and upgrades will come to approximately $1.35 million. Before beginning any work, V&K will apply to the United States Department of Agriculture for several different types of grants and loans as well as to Housing and Urban Development for a Community Development Block Grant.