The Greater Pine Island Water Association Board of Directors approved a $359,650 contract for the renovation of the center pump station Tuesday afternoon, which will modernize a very old system.
William Thacher, general manager of the Greater Pine Island Water Association, said the pump station was built in 1972, which uses equipment from 1966.
Due to the age of the system, he felt it was time to go out for written bids, which was budgeted for $400,000, to renovate the pump station.
Thacher said the winning contractor bid came in under budget at $359,650 from Mitchell and Stark. He said they worked with the contractor in 2004 when it constructed a pump station in Matlacha, along with doing mechanical and electrical work on well 8.
"The lowest and best bidder is a guy we have used successfully in the past," he said.
TKW Consulting Engineers Environmental Engineering Project Manager Mike McGee also attended the meeting Tuesday afternoon to answer questions from the board, along with providing an overview of the project.
He said the pumps that are being replaced, which are the four original pumps at the station, are well over 50 years old. McGee said there are several pumps that have already been discontinued due to age.
"They had a good life," he said.
Thacher said the longevity of the system was made possible due to the preventable maintenance they do on the equipment.
The interior of the pump station room, McGee said, is going to be renovated, which includes two new pumps that will replace the existing ones.
"The pumps are now properly sized, which will use variable speed technology," he said. "The project also encompasses upgrades to the pump control system and a complete electrical power supply upgrade to current standards."
Those upgrades are more cost and energy efficient.
The Greater Pine Island Water Association will begin the construction of the center pump station as soon as possible with a goal of completely the project before the end of the year when the population of the island increases.
Once the project begins, McGee said, the existing pumps will be taken out of service to allow the contractors to build the new pumps, which will not impact the water service for Pine Island. He said the water will still be delivered whenever needed at the same capacity to serve Pine Island customers during this construction.