Saratoga County

3 sewer projects in the works in Ballston

Pump station would improve water quality of 3.5-mile-long lake
A pump station would improve the water quality of the 3.5-mile-long Ballston Lake.
A pump station would improve the water quality of the 3.5-mile-long Ballston Lake.

BALLSTON — The town of Ballston is expected to begin construction on its first municipal sewer project later this year. 

The Ballston Lake sewer project, which is in the design phase, includes a new pump station that would be built on Main Street in Ballston Lake across from Carney’s Tavern. 

The pump station would improve the water quality of the 3.5-mile-long lake, which is surrounded by seasonal camps and year-round homes that use individual septic systems. 

Town Supervisor Tim Szczepaniak said the Ballston Lake sewer project is the largest the town has ever dealt with and construction should start at the end of this year. 

The project will be funded by a $2.6 million state grant and a $7.7 million Environmental Facilities Corp. revolving loan. 

The grant and loan will cover the $10.2 million price tag

Szczepaniak said there is zero interest for half of the loan while the other half has a 1.17 percent interest rate. 

Another sewer project on Route 50 aims to increase commercial development in the town. 

“Ballston has a one-time opportunity to tie in the Route 50 project on the northwest corner loop with the design of the Ballston Lake sewer project,” Szczepaniak said. “There would be a substantial savings for everyone involved.”

The Route 50 sewer district includes 527 parcels from the Glenville town line to Midline Road on Route 146A and a hamlet at the intersection of Lake Hill Road and Route 50. 

The project, which is estimated to cost $15.8 million, includes the Main Street pump station as well as the addition of a low-pressure sewer on Westside Drive. 

Four public information sessions are scheduled for February and March, followed by a referendum in April. 
Szczepaniak said that by adding the new infrastructure, it would increase the town’s chances for new commercial development to support the tax base. 

“We’re hoping to draw in commercial businesses, not large, commercial development,” he said. “Residents want restaurants and small, quaint businesses in town.”

The third sewer project would provide new sewer infrastructure for the Carpenter’s Acres housing subdivision.
Two options are being proposed, including low-pressure sewers and gravity sewers with a regional sewer pumping station and force main. 

According to a Carpenter’s Acres draft engineering report from Nov. 2016, “The benefits of low-pressure sewers are the lower cost of pipeline materials and installation. The disadvantages are that each service connection requires the installation and operation of a grinder pump station. 

“In the Saratoga County Sewer District, the cost and operation of the grinder pump stations are the responsibility of the property owner. These stations cost between $7,500 and $10,000 to install and connect to the sewer system.”

Gravity sewers are, “A network of pipes and manholes that flow by gravity to a regional pump station, which then transfers the wastewater through a pressurized pipeline called a force main.”

The report said larger pipes are needed for gravity sewers therefore increasing the material and installation costs over low-pressure sewers. 

The low-pressure sewer option is expected to cost $2.3 million and the conventional gravity sewers $4.4 million. 

A referendum is expected for the Carpenter’s Acres sewer project  in July. 

Szczepaniak said 38 percent of the water in the town is being lost due to aging infrastructure. 

“We have a major water infrastructure problem in town,” he said. “If we do nothing, our water funds will go bankrupt.”

A water committee has been formed and includes Szczepaniak, the town highway superintendent, attorney, financial administrator and board member William Goslin, among others. 

“Our goals are to look at short- and long-term goals to alleviate the issues we’ve been having,” he said. “We have a lot of work to do and it’ll take some time, but we’ll get there.”

Categories: News, Schenectady County

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