Kerby pump station generator to be installed

By: K. Michelle Moran | Grosse Pointe Times | Published September 26, 2012

GROSSE POINTE FARMS — Officials hope to soon have a permanent solution to the power problems that apparently led to serious basement sewage backups in 2011.


Along with repairs and upgrades to equipment at the Kerby Road sewage pumping station, the city is slated to take delivery of a large generator at the end of September. During a Sept. 10 City Council meeting, City Manager Shane Reeside said the 2,000-kilowatt generator that had been ordered earlier this year would be arriving on schedule.


Hundreds of residents lost cherished possessions and saw finished basements ruined by three sewage backups in 2011, the largest of which took place in May and September of that year.


Although rainy weather and electrical outages from DTE Energy are believed to have triggered the flooding, the Kerby Road pump station is said to have been served appropriately. The Shelby Township-based engineering firm of Anderson, Eckstein and Westrick Inc., hired by the city to conduct an independent evaluation, concluded as much in its report. In its most recent evaluation of the electrical feed to the Kerby Road pump station from Aug. 10, 2012, AEW determined that, “in our opinion, the configuration of the existing electrical feeds to the pump station satisfies the requirements set forth in the Recommended Standards for Waste Water Facilities for providing two independent electrical sources for the pump station.” AEW reached this verdict after receiving additional information from DTE Energy this summer.


In a July 23, 2012, letter to Michael H. Kennedy, a senior project engineer with the Farms’ engineering firm of Hubbell, Roth & Clark Inc., Diego Libreros, principal supervisor engineer-primary services with DTE Energy, wrote that the Farms and its pump station are fed by two different buses and sources of power. There is an automatic transfer mechanism between the buses “in case one of the transformers … becomes unavailable,” Libreros wrote.


An inspection of the Fox Creek enclosure, through which sewage from the Farms and other nearby cities is sent to a Detroit sewage treatment facility, found that the large enclosure remains sound and doesn’t have an excessive build up of sediment, Reeside said.


“The amount of sediment is very minimal,” Reeside said of the enclosure, which runs along Chalfonte. “That was good news.”


Until the permanent generator is up and running, Reeside said the temporary rental generator would remain in place at the plant.


“Our goal, obviously, is to have the permanent generator online as soon as possible,” he told the council, noting that they’re paying fees to rent a generator now.


Installation and wiring of the generator is expected to take place in early October, Reeside said. They’re hoping to have it wired and running by Oct. 15, he said.


Excavation and creation of a pad on which the generator would sit took place earlier this month.