When the sewer pumps failed at the city’s 23-story downtown correctional center, the BOP called Precision.
The 23-story Metropolitan Correctional Center in San Diego houses 900 men and women. But the kitchen and laundry facilities that serve the high-rise prison are located on two subterranean floors, 30 feet below street level. That creates a huge volume of wastewater that needs to be pumped up to the street level — and when the pumps failed in 2019, an emergency quickly developed, with raw sewage seeping into the basement.
Precision was called in to urgently complete the $210,000 project, which involved installing a temporary isolation valve and removing the three failing pumps, core drilling the garage floor to place new sanitary sewer piping, removing and replacing the old control panel, installing new pumps and connecting them at the POC gravity piping, and placing the new system in service.
Because the prison could not be shut down, all of the work was completed in 12-hour, overnight shifts, when the demand was at its lowest. And because the laundry and kitchen are staffed by inmates, the work area required security protocols such as background checks, daily check-ins for tools, and a complete ban on electronic devices.
In addition to replacing the pumps and control panel, Precision installed a sequential cycling system to extend the longevity of the new equipment. Previously, a single pump ran continuously until it couldn’t keep up with the volume, and then a second pump would kick on. Now the pumps alternate as the primary pump, so none are worn out too quickly. All work was completed in seven days.