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The La Plata Town Council agreed Tuesday to demolish the Caroline Drive pump station and route a pipe to the Willow Lane pump station to take care of sewage that the Caroline pump station handles.

Town Manager Daniel Mears said the Caroline Drive pump station has been costly in terms of maintenance, about $28,000 per year, and the town had long-term plans to abandon the pump station and re-route the sewage to the Willow Lane pump station.

The Caroline Drive pump station gets clogged with heavier rags, such as Clorox wipes, Mears said, causing backups and requiring Maryland Environmental Service, one of the town’s contractors for maintenance, to come weekly to the pump station.

Willow Lane pump station has a grinder that handles rags and heavier debris, Mears said.

The demolition and new pipe project is going forward now because the pump station was due for additional maintenance, Mears said, and the town felt that the maintenance was significant enough that demolition should go forward.

Jimmy Richards & Sons Excavating in Waldorf will perform the work at a cost of $111,236 to the town, which will be paid for using money from the unappropriated, unrestricted fund balance. This leaves the town with approximately $235,764 in its fund balance.

Although the cost is substantial, Mears said, the town will experience savings equivalent to the cost within three years by eliminating maintenance and electricity costs from the budget.

Mears said the town upgraded the Willow Lane pump station with the capacity to eventually take on the sewage that usually goes to the Caroline Drive pump station and on to the town’s wastewater treatment plant.

The pipe to be built is a gravity line, meaning that it uses gravity rather than electric-powered pumps to get sewage to the pump station.

The Patuxent Court pump station will receive the generator from the demolished pump station, meaning that every pump station in the town has a back-up generator, town Treasurer Bob Oliphant said.

pwarner@somdnews.com