At the Aug. 1 2023 meeting, the Pierre City Commission approved the purchase of four natural gas powered generators for four of the City’s sanitary sewer lift stations.
Two of the generators will be located at lift stations on the far east side of Pierre - one near Fairway Drive and the other at Hillsview Golf Course. The other two generators will be with lift stations near Winchester Drive and near Pierre Regional Airport.
Brad Palmer, City Utilities Director, says that the City is safeguarding its sanitary sewer systems against the growing threat of a controlled power out.
“Because power outages are becoming more necessary throughout the country, it’s a good idea to take measures that will keep our wastewater flowing properly if we do experience one,” said Palmer.
Palmer is referring to controlled power outages created by energy shortages across the national electric grid. If demand outpaces supply, electric companies are forced to systematically take customers offline for a limited amount of time.
The investment in the generators will cost the City about $133,000.
Mayor Steve Harding says that the time to invest is now.
“We sure don’t want a sewer failure,” said Harding. “It’s better to be in front of this situation.”
Adding credence to Mayor Harding’s statement, Palmer said that generator costs are increasing, and the price is expected to go up 15% by next year.
The City of Pierre manages nine sanity sewer lift stations, with the addition of the four generators, all nine will have back-up power.