San Diego

The City Council on Monday approved a 5 1/2-month construction delay for a sewage pump station in the Sorrento Valley that has already dumped millions of gallons of raw sewage into Los Penasquitos Lagoon.

Council members also approved $8.5 million to pay additional costs related to the delay, which resulted from a miscalculation by a city engineer on the size of new pumps to be installed in the facility.

Initially, the city Water Utilities Department planned to install four 500-horsepower pumps at Pump Station 64 by May 31. However, department engineers miscalculated the size of the new pumps, which are substantially larger than the existing 200-horsepower pumps. The larger pumps are needed to meet the sewage needs of fast-growing northern San Diego.

The new pumps are too big and heavy for the existing station building and the city will have to build an $8-million building to house them. Now, the new pumps are not expected to be installed until next November. Water department officials are expected to ask the California Regional Water Quality Board in December to approve the extension granted by the City Council.

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