$6 million sewer plant renovation topic Tuesday

SYLVAN BEACH — Mayor Edward R. Stewart III and the village board will hold a special meeting on the East Oneida Lake Wastewater Treatment Plant improvement project at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the village office, 808 Marina Drive.

The village is planning a $6 million renovation to the more than 30-year-old plant to modernize equipment and allow for more efficient operation. Village Clerk Wanda E. Durant said Tuesday’s meeting is being held to review the upcoming contracts for smaller projects within the large $6 million renovation. Jack Dodson, of Dodson & Associates Consulting, Inc., of Schenectady, is the chief engineer of the project.

"There are probably 5-6 more separate contracts for small projects within the large project," Durant said.

Chief Plant Operator William DeFazio said a small contract is just being finished now because of some leaks and lack of flow in the system. Once that is complete, contracts for the larger project will be reviewed and plans will be drawn by the engineer, he said. Right now there is no time frame for when certain renovations would be complete because the contracts still need to be reviewed, DeFazio said.

Since increased septic failures caused the creation of the EOL Water Pollution Abatement Project back in 1977, the sewer treatment plant has provided sewer services to residents and businesses along the eastern region of Oneida Lake, as well as protected aquatic ecosystems in the area. The treatment plant serves 2,860.27 units, which includes residences and businesses in the village, portions of the Town of Vienna, Verona and the towns of Sullivan and Lenox in Madison County. Treated effluent is discharged into Fish Creek, which co-mingles with the Erie Canal on the village’s east side.

Upgrades proposed to the sewer treatment plant include changing the chlorination system from gas to liquid chlorine, going to a new control system for better and more constant distribution, high-efficiency motors and new screening and grit removal at the inflow building, as well as a new roof. Prior to the upgrades, the non-potable water system, which reuses treated water in the treatment process, will be repaired. Construction is expected to be on-going for about two years, without any interruption to service.

Despite having repair work and replacements of equipment conducted over the years, officials said new technology has deemed the renovations necessary. Several of the system’s components had an average life expectancy of 25 years, and now are about 35-years-old and most parts are obsolete and not made anymore, officials said.