The topography and environmental constraints of the service area can make it difficult to serve all customers with conventional gravity service. Over 750 customers throughout the District rely upon alternative, “low pressure”, systems such as STEP and Grinder systems. These systems rely upon electric pumps to discharge their sewer into the collection system, generally by connecting to a small diameter pressure sewer, called a force main. STEP systems are generally located in the rural centers of Meadowglade and Hockinson.
Septic Tank Effluent Pump System, “STEP”, are low pressure sewers. The District generally has responsibility for operation, maintenance, and repair of most STEP systems.
Grinder systems are owned by the property owner and therefore operation, maintenance, and repair is not the responsibility of the District. Grinder systems are different from STEP systems in that they do not use “solids handling” pumps. As the name implies, the Grinder systems actually “grind” the solids in the waste stream and pump them through along with the liquid.