Sewer questions (about lift station)

Hi all – I’m dealing with a problem this weekend which may require a sewage “lift station” about which I know next to nothing.  Website pointers appreciated as I do my research.  (Which I am starting right this minute).How much should I expect to pay for a lift station, and what is the practical lifetime (years) and maintenance costs (annual)?  What should I be on the lookout for?  (I know from Frank about underwear kryptonite).  This would be serving either 1/2 or all of a 100-unit park.I remember something from the Boot Camp about sirens & tanks and emergency power & such, but I don’t know if that was with respect to a lift station.  What is the damage/problem if the pump or electricity go out?I was told by a plumbing contractor that the output from the lift station can be run through a small (2") pipe for considerable distance, obviously uphill & around bends, etc.  He said ~$30k for the equipment but we’d make it back because the labor & materials for 2" (PVC?) shallow pipe is much less than plumbed 6" main running constant downhill slope.  Does that sound reasonable?  How far can I run this outflow pipe on relatively flat ground?I assume (am I right?) that downstream of the lift station cannot support any mobile home tie-ins (because it would be at high pressure).  So if/when I route this output to city sewer, what happens at the far end?  The plumber also told me that the city’s 6" or 8" main cannot handle my whole park’s sewage (possibly from two 6" internal-to-the-park mains).  Does this sound right?  If that is right, will installation of a lift station to replace one or both of those 6" internal main outflow take care of that problem?  I’ll get with the City on Monday when I can, but I want to know what I’m talking about when I do.Thanks forum!Brandon@Sandell

These are some extremely complicated issues. At its most basic, a lift station pumps sewage uphill when the park’s sewer line is lower than the city’s. There are two problems with lift stations: 1) they are expensive to build and replace ($50,000+) and 2) they are a crisis when the engines stop functioning (that’s what the bell, siren and flashing light are for – to let you know there’s a problem and that, unattended, the lift station with “explode” with sewage shortly).It sounds like this particular lift station concept has a ton of issues, each one you need to become an expert on. I think you should go to the city and tell them you know nothing about this item and start from scratch. Don’t go in thinking you have any handle on it, as they will assume you know more than you do. You’ll  need to get a competent licensed plumber on your team, and get three bids once the plan has been established. I would also include Mike Renz from Renz and Associates on your team, as he may know good resources for you.