On The Beach: Laguna Beach Completes Lift Station Replacement

June 2013, Vol. 68, No. 6

The $5 million Laguna Beach remodel replaces an 80-year-old lift station that was subject to structural deterioration and ongoing problems with odor, electrical, mechanical and maintenance issues. The new lift station fulfills one of several projects on a laundry list of requirements established in 2003 by the Federal EPA. The station bolsters the city’s ongoing program to prevent sewer spills and meet the mandates of the Federal Clean Water Act and the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System permit.

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The unique design includes a lifeguard headquarters building that is currently being built adjacent to the station where it shares a common shoring wall with the lift station. The lift station is underground with only its electrical control panel and emergency generator located above grade within a lifeguard station closet. Below ground is the sophisticated pre-manufactured lift station structure with a 10-foot diameter HDPE primary lift station wetwell and an adjacent 10- foot diameter bypass wetwell. This HDPE bypass structure was engineered with pipes, ladders, a fiberglass platform and a unique valving system that allows it to function as a bypass manhole in an emergency.


“We chose HDPE because it’s cleaner to use. The inevitable build-up of hydrogen sulfide gas and sulfuric acid eats away at concrete. There are a lot of corrosion issues with lift stations that are lined with polyurethane liners. I’ve seen liners fail many times in my career. Acid destroys these facilities,” said Shissler.

The Laguna Beach lift station was fully functional in August 2012 with the lifeguard station headquarters slated for a January 2014 completion.