published Monday, June 16th, 2014

Problems with pump station near Shellmound Business Park draw concerns

JASPER, Tenn. — Problems with a new sewer pump station near an area known as the Shellmound Business Park have city leaders concerned they may have gotten a lemon.

Mayor Paul Evans said the sewer line extension project along U.S. Highway 41 to the business park has been completed, but the fact that a pump installed just last fall already is in need of repairs has him concerned.

"We're only operating with one pump out there right now," he said. "This is twice we've had an issue with that one pump."

The unit has been down for two weeks already, Evans said, and it will be at least another month before the parts arrive to fix it.

Officials said the sewer pump is under warranty, but that will run out sometime in October.

Evans asked City Attorney Mark Raines if the city would have any recourse after the warranty period that might be similar to the Lemon Law for automobiles.

"I'm not sure that would extend to a sewer pump, but I can check into it and see," Raines said. "If that's a faulty pump or faulty design, that's a totally different situation."

Raines said the unit has an express one-year warranty that would be the responsibility of the installer, Angel Construction in Pikeville, Tenn.

Once the express warranty has expired, Raines said, Jasper could make a claim for an implied warranty if the pump fails again, but it would be difficult, and perhaps expensive, to prove.

The city would have to call in experts to show that the town tried to fix problems under the express warranty, he said, but those problems couldn't be corrected.

Raines said the only recourse the town would have left is saying it "basically got a lemon, and we don't want to be stuck with it."

"It doesn't seem like a long time for it to be operating to have already failed," he said.

Ryan Lewis is based in Marion County. Contact him at ryan lewis34@gmail.com.

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