News Flash


Posted on: July 11, 2023

New Birdland Pump Station Will Improve Wastewater Capacity, Eliminate Combined Sewer Overflow

Birdland release

A brand-new Birdland Pump Station is being constructed in the 1800 Block of Saylor Road to meet growing capacity needs and eliminate a combined sewer overflow at the current station, which was built in 1964.


DES MOINES, IOWA – Tuesday, July 11, 2023 – A brand-new Birdland Pump Station is being constructed in the 1800 Block of Saylor Road to meet growing capacity needs in the area. The project also results from the WRA’s consent decree with the EPA and the State of Iowa to eliminate several combined sewer overflows.

Combined sewer overflows (CSO) are a result of combined sewer systems (CSS) built in earlier years that collect both stormwater and wastewater. During dry weather, wastewater is transported to the treatment facility, but during periods of rainfall or snowmelt the CSS exceeds its capacity and must discharge some of the combined stormwater and wastewater directly into nearby rivers or streams.

“Regulations have changed since this combined sewer system was built and we prefer to have stormwater and sanitary sewer systems separate,” said WRA Director Scott Hutchens, “This new pump station will allow us to ensure we can pump the sanitary sewer flow to our treatment facility.” 

The new, larger station will be equipped with a four-pump arrangement that is able to handle the influent sewer’s peak hourly flow rate and will include mechanical screening of wastewater. The pump station will also include an odor control facility to collect and treat odorous gases.

Most of the pump station’s ancillary features (odor controls, screenings dumpster, HVAC units, monorail, etc.) will be enclosed within the pump station structure to shield them from view. Additionally, the WRA met with local business owners and representatives of the neighborhood association to develop the aesthetics of the new station.

“The old building stuck out, so we wanted to make sure that the new building blended in with the surrounding architecture and is a nice visual addition to the neighborhood when it’s finished,“ Hutchens said.

The old pump station, built in 1964, will remain active until construction of the new station is completed, which is currently on schedule to finish in 2024. Construction will not require any road closures and will be set back enough to allow the bike path to reopen along Saylor Road upon completion of the project.

“We’re trying to minimize disruption of the area and get this project completed so the WRA can continue to be a good steward of the environment and clean our wastewater to the best of our abilities,” Hutchens said.

Find more details on the improvements to the Birdland Pump Station by clicking here.

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