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Umatilla/Eustis Wastewater Connection Nears Completion

Umatilla/Eustis Wastewater Connection Nears Completion

    Umatilla and Eustis’ new wastewater connection is nearing completion, with officials with the City of Umatilla this week voicing hope that the new system could be up and running in October.
    For several months, contractors have been working to construct a wastewater line from Umatilla's wastewater plant on Golden Gem Drive south on SR 19 to Eustis and east on CR 44, where it will connect with a Eustis wastewater facility.  The estimated $7 million project will allow the city to mostly abandon its current wastewater operations and instead contract with Eustis for the treatment of wastewater generated within the Umatilla system.
    Umatilla Director of Development and Public Services Aaron Mercer this week said the project is progressing.
    “The force main is in the ground and has passed a preliminary pressure test.  As soon as the headworks (pumps, lift stations, etc.) are done, the line will be filled with reuse water and the new pumps, lines, valves, etc., will go through a final test.  After that, if all is good, we go live.”
    As has been the case in many sectors of the economy, the project has been impacted by supply chain problems.  Mercer said that while the force main has been in the ground for three months, the delivery of pumps, control panels, electronics, and a generator have been slow, putting the project beyond its expected summer completion date.
    Umatilla sought out the project in recent years, as it was facing the prospect of needing to build a new wastewater plant.  In addition to being more costly than the current plan, the plant’s location near Lake Yale was becoming of concern to regulators.
    Once the project is complete, Umatilla’s system will pump wastewater into a large holding tank that has been constructed at the wastewater facility, and from there be pumped to Eustis.  Much of the city’s wastewater processing operations will cease, and the city has already begun the process of seeking new uses for its spray field and percolation ponds in the area.  On top of that list is a plan to redevelop the area into a light manufacturing hub, with both Phillips Manufacturing - currently in Dona Vista, and RCM Utilities - currently in Eustis, planning to move operations to the general area in the future.