County supervisors Tuesday approved $18 million in construction contracts for new sewers to be installed around Saratoga Lake and along the Hudson River in Halfmoon.
Work on the two projects could start this fall, though they won’t be wrapped up until the summer of 2014, county sewer district officials said.
The two projects together are the biggest sewer line construction project the district has undertaken in 30 years, but officials said they are needed for environmental reasons.
“The septic systems are failing along Route 4 and 32 [in Halfmoon], and the pumping stations around Saratoga Lake are just getting tired,” county Sewer Commission Chairman Bill Davis said after the approval vote in Ballston Spa.
The eight miles of new sewer line around Saratoga Lake will supplement and in some areas replace lines installed around the lake in the early 1980s. Since then, development in the areas around the lake, including on the east side of Saratoga Springs, has outstripped the capacity of that line, leading to unofficial restrictions on developments that have been in place for nearly a decade. Many homes that were once seasonal have become year-round residences, and expensive developments like Saratoga Glen Hollow have been built on the highlands around the lake.
In addition to installation of the new line, the contract will cover upgrades to the nine sewage pumping stations around the lake, which are needed because the sewage has to be pumped uphill from the lake to reach the county’s main collection system. Grinder pumps serving individual homes in the Silver Beach section of Malta, which periodically flood when the lake is high, will also be replaced.
In Halfmoon, a new sewer line will be built from the county treatment plant south along routes 4 and 32 to Lower Newtown Road — an area that doesn’t currently have sewer service. People living in that area had approached the sewer district about three years ago, saying failing septic systems in the area were a potential threat to the Hudson River.
An engineering study recommended the two projects be handled as one construction contract to reduce overall costs. The general construction contract covering both projects will go to Kingsley Arms Inc. of Schaghticoke for $16.8 million. An electrical services contract will go to Stilsing Electric of Rensselaer for $1.3 million, and a heating and ventilation contract still needs to be awarded.
The Board of Supervisors authorized the sewer district to borrow up to $18.5 million.
Davis said there should be no increase in rates paid by sewer district customers, because the district will finish paying off other debt within the next five years.