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Heidi Shaffer, Published October 10 2010

Fargo adds interceptor: Sewer project aids during floods, heavy rains

A new $64 million sewer interceptor in southwest Fargo will help the citywide water system, especially during heavy rains and flooding.

The 45th Street interceptor project took nearly three years to complete and was paid for through an infrastructure sales tax passed by voters in 2006.

The system is Fargo’s third interceptor and consists of 10 miles of sewer pipeline and three major lift stations. Interceptors are essentially large sewer lines that, in combination, control the flow of sewage to a treatment plant.

The city will hold a dedication ceremony for the completed project Tuesday, but the system, which started functioning in August, is already benefiting Fargo, said Bruce Grubb, the city’s enterprise director.

The new system relieves some of the burden on the two existing interceptors – one of which is located on Broadway and the other on 42nd Street South – that were at capacity, Grubb said.

The new interceptor is taking “many millions of gallons” off the citywide system, said Jim Hausauer, Fargo’s wastewater utility manager.

Prior to the 45th Street interceptor, the city’s lift stations filled up quickly during heavy rains and flooding, and alarms to warn of high water in the stations sounded frequently, Grubb said.

Since the system began functioning, the alarms have yet to sound, he said.

“We’ve had some pretty significant rainfall events this fall, so we’ve kind of put the new system to a test,” Grubb said.

The new interceptor is also built to accommodate Fargo’s projected growth for the next 25 years, he said.

Revenue from the city’s one-cent infrastructure sales tax will pay back a loan the city received from the state of North Dakota to pay for the project. Half of the sales tax is dedicated to water and sewer improvements.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Heidi Shaffer at (701) 241-5511