City of Dike launches $4 million sewer project

Many components of the old, 1960s-era sewer plant, including the two structures shown above, will be torn down and replaced with newer equipment that will help increase flow and capacity. 

DIKE – Next week, work will begin on an extensive, $4 million project to update and improve the City of Dike’s sewer plant.

According to City Supervisor Shane Metz, the project will include the construction of a new lift station and pumps – which will increase and improve overall flow and capacity – as well as several new aeration ditches, an equalization station, and additional sludge storage.

The project will also include the addition of an EPA-mandated UV disinfection wastewater treatment system. 

Metz says that although the project is expensive, the sewer plant is long overdue for an upgrade. Not to mention many of the upgrades are mandatory in order for the city to meet compliance standards.

“Right now, we’re still using pumps designed in 1964,” Metz said. “ What’s happened is, if we cant pump [the sewage] out to the plant fast enough, we have to bypass it to the storm sewer, which a lot of towns do, but it’s not ideal.”

Metz said that strong storms and heavy rain can, and have, overloaded the old system.

Metz recalled many times where he or his crew would get a call at 1:30, 2:30 or 3:30 in the morning after a heavy rain, and they would have to rush out to the lift station to man the backup diesel pumps to make sure the storm water made it out to the plant.

If the old backup pumps couldn’t keep up, they would be forced to bypass the overloading water into the storm sewers, which then empty into the north fork of the Black Hawk Creek. If the system is still overloaded and backed up, the only place for the water to go is basements.

“By building the new plant and new lift station, we can eliminate those kind of issues,” Metz said, adding that overall capacity will be increased as well.

For the full story, see the March 16 edition of The Grundy Register.