Graphic courtesy of Jo Co Waste Water

Graphic courtesy of Jo Co Waste Water

Work recently began on a $9.1 million low pressure sewer system for Gardner Lake; the project will serve about 85 acres and 352 properties. The estimated length of the sewer line is about 30,000 feet.
The proposed district consists of about 279 homes which are currently served by septic tanks, according to Johnson County Wastewater’s website. Construction is expected to last for about 18 months, or until March 2017. The area served is between approximately 151st and 162nd streets at Gardner Road.
Low pressure sewers are the only type of sewers feasible at Gardner Lake due to the topography of the land.
LPS systems work similar to a water main system.
“A low pressure sewer system operates like a water distribution system in reverse,” said Gordon Rames, county development engineer.
“During construction, each individual home will have its septic tank or holding tank decommissioned and a grinder pump unit installed,” Rames continued. “Once the grinder pump unit is installed, the sewage will be pumped though the sewer main into a receiving gravity manhole.  A low pressure sewer system typically utilizes smaller diameter pipe than gravity systems.  For Gardner Lake the pipe sizes range from 1.25 inches to 6 inches in diameter.”
Discussion on the Gardner Lake sewer district began in 2011 when a petition bearing signatures of nearly 58 percent of landowners was presented to the county. A majority, or 51 percent, is the minimum required.
A public hearing was held in August, 2011, and in September the Johnson County Board of Commissioners voted to approve the project and an application for a Kansas Department of Health Environment loand agreement was made in March 2012. KDHE administers a State Revolving Fund Loan Program, and 20 year financing to residents. The program also calls for a 40 percent principal forgiveness and allows financing for the installation of a grinder pump unit and connection fees for each home.
According to information from Johnson County Wastewater, the estimated cost to each assessed property after 40 percent principal forgiveness is $141 (main) plus $567 (pump) per year if spread over 20 years.
Total projected cost prior to 40 percent principal forgiveness is:
-$3.5 million sewer mains
-$4.2 LPS pumps
-$1.4 million connection costs
The Gardner Lake project will provide service to all existing homes and vacant lots that could be developed in the proposed sewer district, according to county information.
Gardner Lake is a 100 acre lake that began in the 1930’s as a Work Progress Administration project and cost about $567,00 to construct. It was the largest WPA project in Johnson County.