By Cassie McClure and Suzanne Michaels
Published in the Las Cruces Sun-News 2/2/20
Our sporadic rain showers remind us that water runs to the lowest point in the neighborhood. But what if you need that water to flow back uphill? Las Cruces Utilities (LCU) has a system to give water a little boost to get to different locations at different elevations, aptly named “booster pump stations”.
One booster pump station is being rehabilitated right now on the West Mesa near the Las Cruces International Airport. It’s not only the mainstay for the Airport, but also allows for expanded economic development at the West Mesa Industrial Park (WMIP).
“The elevated water tank at the Airport was built 37 years ago. It’s the main pressure source for water at the Airport and the Industrial Park, and it was due for inspection and rehabilitation,” explains Jorge A. Garcia, Ph.D., P.E., LCU director.
The $650,000 booster station rehabilitation is underway right now and includes upgraded pumps, upgraded pump house, and connections to the Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system. The 24-hours-a-day SCADA system lets operators at LCU know exactly the status of the station and if any calibration is needed, or if there are any security concerns - like a door opening when it shouldn’t.
To ensure that LCU associates understood the details of the new booster pumps, they were sent to the manufacturer’s factory in Florida. There they were able to study the pumps in action while operating with a 24,000-gallon test tank equipped with
permanently mounted flow sensors of various sizes, manual valves, automatic valves, differential pressure sensors, pressure gauges, and multiple suction connections.
The rehabilitation also works as a failsafe for the entire area near the Airport, mirroring the LCU operations in the city. Dr. Garcia adds, “It’s important that residents and businesses know they can count on sustained water flow and good water pressure to all sections of the city of Las Cruces.”
You can reach Las Cruces Utilities at 528-3500 from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Las Cruces Utilities provides GAS – WATER – WASTEWATER – SOLID WASTE services to approximately 100,000 Las Cruces residents and businesses.
PHOTO 1: New booster pumps arriving at the LCU booster pump station on the West Mesa.