'Garage' Hides Sewerage Pumping Station

By Joanne Ray | September 28, 2010

Things are not always what they seem and the community of Southington, CT has the building to prove it.

It was only a few months ago that the Southington DPW completed a sewerage pumping station in the residential pond view neighborhood.

Second half of building being set, sizes and weights are the same as first half. Additional equipment supplied with precast structure: side access door to garage half, side access door to generator room half, power distribution, emergency generator & ATS, HVAC

"The interesting part of this project was that this pump station was replacing one that was failing and the only logical place to install the new station was on the property of a private resident," said Ken Pasco, Value Added Products Manager from Oldcastle Precast in Avon CT.  "The DPW made a deal with this family to install the station in his front yard and build the building to look exactly like a two car garage (matching the siding and trim to his existing house).  Now the DPW would have rights to one half of the building (generator/control & access tube to the below grade dry well) and he would have access to the other half of the building (i.e. gaining a single car garage). The access in front of the building, are two similar garage doors, which makes it look just like a two-car garage."

According to Anthony Tranquillo, Director of the DPW in Southington, the replacement project began in the spring of 2003. The cost of the project was just under $1 million.

"We had to do a replacement of a pump that was installed in 1965 and the original station had live out its useful life," said Tranquillo. "The design made by Metcalf and Eddy, was a duplex with an underground pumping station that was a dry well-wet well arrangement. The 24-foot by 28-foot building was to be a two-bay garage that houses an emergency generator and electrical equipment."

The project began with an un-named contractor who did not work out which paved the way for the VMS which started the job in early fall of 2007.

"We took over the job after another contractor resigned from the project," said Victor Serrambana of VMS. "We were able to get the hole de-watered. When we came on the project the hole was already 17 feet deep and had been open for two years. The former contractor had not been able to control the waterhole."

VMS came in with a team of five or six laborers and used the CAT 345B to dig the hole down 29 feet. They lowered a smaller excavator - a John Deere 50D - into the hole to make up for the reach. The hole was 40 feet across.

"The other machine was able to gather the material to the far side of the hole," said Victor Serrambana of VMS Construction. "Some material was trucked away to another site and some was brought back in to fill the hole."

Once the hole was completed, Oldcastle Precast – Rotondo of Avon, CT, who manufactures custom precast concrete structures, came on site to install the pump station.

Finished building resembles a two-car garage

"We work closely with the end user and their design engineers to provide products that can be manufactured off-site in our environmentally controlled manufacturing facility (year round), and shipped to the jobsite, for a one-day installation (in most cases)," Pasco said. "In this case, Oldcastle Precast manufactured the below grade dry pit pumping station, entrance riser tube to the pump station, adjacent round wet well and the above grade divided building for this project. We completely outfitted these structures in our manufacturing facility and pre-tested the complete pump station before it was shipped to the jobsite.  The dry well, riser tube and wet well were all installed in one-day.  Back filling and foundation site work was performed after the initial set and then the generator/control/garage building was installed, again in one-day."

Tranquillo said the pumping station is capable of pumping 200 gallons a minute and services 30 homes.

"As far as I can determine it fits in very well with the neighborhood," Tranquillo said. "Driving by you would never know there is a sewerage pumping station in there."