City receives update on Keim, Kellenberger lift stations 

Sabetha High School students Nathan Voos and Nohl Niehues attend the Monday, October 11, Sabetha City Commission meeting. Pictured are FRONT ROW (L-R) Nathan Voos and Nohl Niehues; BACK ROW (L-R) Commissioners Norm Schmitt and Nick Aberle, Mayor Doug Clark, and Commissioners Maridel Wittmer and Julie Burenheide.

The Sabetha City Commission met at 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 11, at Sabetha City Hall. Present for the meeting was Mayor Doug Clark, Commissioners Norm Schmitt, Nick Aberle, Maridel Wittmer and Julie Burenheide, City Administrator Doug Allen, Assistant City Administrator Bill Shroyer and City Clerk Steve Compo. Guests present were Keithen Meyer with Schwab Eaton, and Nathan Voos and Nohl Niehues who were present for an AP class.

Meyer brought cost estimates back to the board regarding improvements for the Keim and Kellenberger lift stations after meeting with the City on Monday, Aug. 23. 

Meyer presented two improvement options for the Keim lift station – a medium capacity (500 Gallons Per Minute (GPM)) option and a large capacity (800 GPM) option. Keim also presented one improvement option – large capacity (800 GPM) – for the Kellenberger lift station.

The Keim lift station located near Keim TS along the Berwick Road and the Kellenberger lift station located south of the Sabetha Community Hospital near the covered bridge in the housing division. These two lift stations over the past years have experienced overflow problems from backing up during periods of rain runoff.

Keim Lift Station

Medium Option (500 GPM)

Meyer said the first thing Schwab Eaton did was look at extending the existing force main and running a new 8 inch line all the way to the south end of town, and adding new wet wells.

“We also looked at new wet wells that are a little bit bigger and a little bit deeper, to give you a surge capacity,” Meyer said. “With that, we’re going to need about a 60 horsepower pump to get 500 gallons a minute. It’s a little bit bigger than what we were looking at at first and that is because we are going deeper. That extra depth drives that pump up a little bit bigger. We looked at new eight foot wet wells and new submersible pumps. That will give you 500 gallons a minute with one pump and the second pump kicking on would give you about 530 gallons per minute. Right now, you’re at about 330 and 350 gallons per minute with one pump and two pumps.”

The total project cost for the medium option is $615,346. 

Large Option (800 GPM)

Meyer said they learned they could build everything exactly the same as the medium option and just replace the existing six inch force main with eight inch.

“With that same pump, you would get up to 800 gallons a minute with one pump and with 8 inch [force main] all the way, a second pump does more and you would get up to a little over 900 gallons per minute with the second pump running. The way this is set up, that’s the only thing that we change is the force main. The hydraulics work out to where we could use the same pump for both the options. So, you could build it for 500 gallons per minute knowing in the future that you could add that eight inch to get you more, or you could also design the whole thing and bid it as an alternate.”

Meyer said if the City decided to bid the eight inch force main as an alternate, it would allow them to not make a final decision until after the project was bid.

“Then you would have it designed to be able to add it in the future,” Meyer said.

The total project cost for the large option is $868,452.

Kellenberger Lift Station

Meyer said that at the last meeting, the City said the Kellenberger lift station really needs a big improvement. 

“The hydraulics of that lift station are pretty similar, as well,” Meyer said. “So, we looked at using the exact same pump, the same  curve and everything and we can get to 800 gallons per minute with a new 8 inch force main. One thing that we like about that, using the same pumps for both lift stations, if you have some maintenance issues at one station, you can pull a pump out of one and drop it in the other and it’s going to work the same. There’s a lot of advantages to that.”

The total project cost for this lift station would be $740,599.

Allen advised the board that after discussing the project with Meyer and Shroyer, their “consensus was to bid the larger option for Keim as an alternate.”

Meyer said he wanted the commission to understand that the costs were for two separate projects. 

“If you do one project for both lift stations, there are some potential cost savings, particularly overhead, because the staging will already be here and one contractor on site that’s doing everything,” Meyer said. “If you add the two big options together, or the medium and large option together, if you want to combine it, I will get you an estimate that combines everything and it will be a little less than that.”

Meyer plans to send the combined project costs to the City, once he has it prepared.

Also at the meeting:

The commissioners approved the minutes from the Sept. 27 meeting, Ordinance No. 1569 for the Standard Traffic Code, Ordinance No. 1570 for the Uniform Public Offense Code. See both ordinances on Page 6. 

The next meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 26, at Sabetha City Hall.

Heather Stewart198 Posts

Heather Stewart is a reporter for The Sabetha Herald, where she has been on staff since 2015. She specializes in court and sports reporting, as well as photography. Heather is a 2011 Kansas State University graduate with a degree in psychology. She lives in Sabetha with her husband.


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