Contractors for the city have completed $845,000 in improvements to the Geyser Crest well field that provides water to more than 1,000 residents living in the Geyser Crest neighborhoods.
The work included state Heath Department-required changes to the underground water system as well as the installation of energy-saving well pumps that are expected to save the city $14,500 each year. City officials and representatives of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) celebrated the upgraded water system on Wednesday with a ribbon cutting ceremony at the pump building.
The Geyser Crest area is in southwest corner of the city near the town of Milton.
Public Works Commissioner Anthony “Skip” Scirocco said a major improvement made to the Geyser Crest system over the past 10-months was the installation of a new water pump that can bring water from the city’s Loughberry Lake reservoir into the Geyser Crest pipes.
This “backup” pump was used this past winter and spring to provide Geyser Crest customers with water while the improvements were made to the Geyser Crest well system.
“Water now flows both ways,” Scirocco said. He said in the past the Geyser Crest well system could pump water into the city’s main distribution network but couldn’t receive water from that system.
The Geyser Crest well system produces 700,000 gallons of water per day with a peak production of 1.6 million gallons per day. The system provides water to customers in both Geyser Crest and other parts of the city, according to a statement from Barton & Loguidice, the Albany-based engineering consultants who designed the changes.
The state Health Department in November 2008 ordered the city to make improvements to the Geyser Crest system so that the system complied with new federal ground water regulations.
The state said the city had to meet new water disinfection standards that involved the water being treated with chlorine for a longer period of time before being distributed.
The state set a Dec. 1, 2009, deadline for the changes to be completed. The city couldn’t meet this deadline but used the new pump attached to the Geyser Crest system to bring water to Geyser Crest from the city’s main water source while the required well field changes were made, Scirocco said.
To address the new regulations, the city installed a 48-inch diameter chlorine contact piping system to provide the additional chlorine contact time required by the state.
“The Geyser Crest well field upgrades have resulted in improved disinfection of the water supply by ensuring that the chlorine chemical has sufficient time to activate waterborne pathogens, thereby better protecting city residents,” says a Barton & Loguidice statement.
Scirocco said NYSERDA recommended energy saving measures to the city as well as providing $22,000 toward the energy portion of the project.
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