What is a lift station?

Lift StationA lift station is a critical part of the waste water collection system.  The lift stations allow waste water to be gathered in low areas and then pump the waste water uphill to a point where the water can flow by gravity in the collection system pipes.  Waste water enters into a sealed well structure, called a wet well.  The wet well fills with waste water and stores the water until a trigger inside of the well turns on pumps to draw the water level down to a set level.  There are alarms that alert the Iowa Great Lakes Sanitary District Staff and neighboring properties if there is an issue such as high water levels, pump failure, power loss with the lift station and many more.  The local alarms consist of a blinking light and a loud horn.  Anyone who sees or hears these alarms going off are asked to call the Dickinson County Dispatcher’s office at 712-336-2525.  The Dickinson County Dispatcher official will contact the district about any call they receive on a lift station alarm.  The district staff should be aware of the situation but the more people who are aware of any situation with the waste water collection system, the better the IGLSD can protect private property and the water quality of the Iowa Great Lakes.

If the waste water is not pumped out of the wet well, the water level will continue to rise in the wet well.  The waste water can start to back up in the pipes entering the wet well.  If the pumps don’t start working, waste water could eventually back-up into private residences or come out of manholes and go to the lakes.