Just in time for winter's expected wet weather, the new Sellwood Wet Weather Pump Station is scheduled to start up on December 1st.
What this means is that soon, the Willamette River will no longer receive combined rainwater and sewage from Sellwood outfalls every time it rains.
Under S.E. Harney Street, workers have finished relining the last 1,000 feet of the Lents Trunk sewer, turning this abandoned pipe into a storage vessel, pointed out David Allred, project spokesman at the Portland Bureau of Environmental Services.
With the pumps, an emergency generator, and main systems installed at the Sellwood Wet Weather Pump Station, and the electronic control system installation about done, Allred invited THE BEE to inspect the nearly-finished project.
Just south of the concrete building - soon to be topped with an 'eco-roof' - Allred pointed to a large cement pad.
'When the Lents Trunk sewer line fills to a point, the pumps deep in the shafts under these pads come on, much like a home sump-pump, and they pump the combined sewage up and over to the station at S.E. 11th and Umatilla Street, where goes into the gravity system. Then, it flows by gravity pretty much - with pumps along the way - to our treatment plant in North Portland.'
With the system ready to go, all that remains, Allred told us, is testing and fine-tuning the system. It should be put into service on the first of December. 'Then we'll still have three or four months of site restoration and landscaping work, and putting in the amenities.'