Potential Conversion Considered as Problems Persist at James Street Lift Station in North Judson

With non-flushable items consistently causing problems with North Judson’s James Street lift station, officials are preliminarily considering converting it over to a Variable-Frequency Drive (VFD).

Interim Town Superintendent Randy Schwartz informed council members Monday night that they’re still pulling the pumps on that lift station quite often. He noted that as a result, start kits will sometimes get burnt out and that costs about $140 each time it happens.

While the utility department is doing what they can to combat the problem, Schwartz said he’s going to meet with someone soon to talk about a possible conversion project.

Schwartz explained, “We do have baskets in the manholes to catch the nonflushables and we dump them Mondays and Fridays.” He continued, “I do have Flow-Technics coming next week to try to get a quote on getting that station converted over to VFD.”

Fire Chief Joe Leszek mentioned that the VFD would allow crews to reverse the pumps and that could potentially clear a clog without having to pull the pump. Schwartz added that VFD is more durable and it would mean the station would no longer require start kits.

No official actions were taken but Schwartz will provide the council with additional information as soon as it becomes available.

North Judson isn’t the only municipality that experiences issues such as this. The persistent problem spans the globe. Subsequently, a number of different efforts are being made to address it, including Ireland’s “Think Before You Flush” initiative and the National Association of Clean Water Agencies’ “Toilets are not Trash Cans” campaign.