CONSIDER Expenditure of Budgeted Funds for the Periodic Maintenance of the Three Main Intake Pumps at the Sleepy Hollow STEELHEAD Rearing Facility


Meeting Date:

March 26, 2009


Yes, partially



Darby Fuerst,


Aquatic Resources/


General Manager

Line Item No.:

Fisheries  2-3-1 H


Prepared By:

Beverly Chaney

Cost Estimate:



General Counsel Approval: N/A

Committee Recommendation:  The Administrative Committee reviewed this item on March 19, 2009 and recommended approval.

CEQA Compliance:  N/A


SUMMARY:  In January 2009, the two large water intake pumps at the Sleepy Hollow Steelhead Rearing Facility (SHSRF or Facility) were removed from the pump gallery for scheduled repair and maintenance.  The pumps were removed at this time because river flows were unusually low for that time of year, and allowed staff to access and remove the pumps.  The back-up intake pump was installed in their place and run under normal conditions for approximately one week before the outer moisture seal failed and the pump had to be removed for repair as well.   These pumps are the most crucial component for the operation of the Facility and the rearing of rescued steelhead fish.


The two main intake pumps were initially purchased in 2000, and were overhauled in July 2002 for approximately $3,422 each, after one failed and one was malfunctioning.  Based on this experience, it was staff’s intention to pull and overhaul the pumps every two to three years, rotating the back-up pump into service, and placing one of the repaired pumps into storage as the back-up.  This maintenance schedule has not to be adhered to, however, due to the inability to remove the pumps during high winter flows that commonly occur after the Facility is shut down in December through February.  These high flows can continue each year as late as April, and then getting the pumps repaired can take an additional one to three months.  This would have precluded bringing the Facility back on-line when needed each year between May and July. 


The back-up pump was purchased in 2003, in response to the joint failure of the two original intake pumps, and has been stored on-site for approximately six years.  Staff received a repair and maintenance estimate of $7,520 per pump from the repair shop on March 9, 2009.  This local vendor normally provides pump repair services to the Facility.  The current estimated purchase price for these pumps from the manufacturer would be $13,835 each.  Thus, local repair costs for a complete overhaul of each pump are approximately 52% of the purchase price.  There is a one year warranty on parts and labor for either a new or rebuilt pump.  A vendor cannot give a precise estimate of repair costs, until each pump is disassembled and evaluated.  Accordingly, the repair costs for an individual pump may be less than this estimate, based on what parts need to be replaced.  The pumps manufacturer in Hayward would charge approximately $5,190 for a similar overhaul, but cannot give us a certain cost until they inspect and disassemble the pumps.  It would require two full days of staff time to take the pumps to and from Hayward for repair, or for an inspection and price quote.


Intake pump maintenance was included as a separate line item as part of the District’s Fiscal Year 2008-2009 Budget under Sleepy Hollow Facility Operations.  Extra funds needed for the pump repair will come out of the Facility’s General Operations and Maintenance budget line item.


RECOMMENDATION:  Staff recommends that the District Board authorize expenditure of budgeted funds in a not-to-exceed amount of $22,600 for the repair and maintenance of the three pumps.  The Administrative Committee reviewed this item at its March 19, 2009 meeting and voted to recommend the expenditure.


IMPACT TO STAFF/RESOURCES:  The 2008-2009 Budget includes $14,800 for Intake pump maintenance for the SHSRF (Line Item 2-3-1 H).  The actual cost of the repairs could be up to $22,600.  Any additional funds needed, up to $7,800, will be covered by the fund for General operations and maintenance of SHSRF (Line Item 2-3-1 A).