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What you need to know for 11/19/2017

Upgrades planned for Schenectady's wastewater treatment facilities

Upgrades planned for Schenectady's wastewater treatment facilities

The city has received a $5 million grant and nearly $19 million loan from the state to invest in its

The city has received a $5 million grant and nearly $19 million loan from the state to invest in its water infrastructure.

The funding will go toward upgrades to the city’s wastewater treatment plant and pump station, according to Paul LaFond, who serves as director of water and wasterwater along with commissioner of general services.

The funding will be used to improve the wastewater treatment plant’s primary tanks, which were built in 1906, he said.

“That’s the first area of treatment,” he said. “They are quite old. There is also automation and a number of things that go along with that. We’ll also do work on the secondary system.”

The pump station’s force main will also be replaced, LaFond said. Sewage is pumped from the force main on Front Street to the treatment plant on Anthony Street.

LaFond said the upgrades are in the design phase now and work could start within a year.

“It’s the underground infrastructure that nobody sees,” he said. “We’re getting ahead of the game here. We’re looking farther out, where the regulatory agencies are heading.”

Schenectady’s wastewater treatment plant processes about 12.5 million gallons of wastewater a day. It’s permitted for up to 18.5 million a day, according to LaFond. The plant has 20 employees and runs 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The grant is part of a total of $56.4 million in grants for 30 critical water infrastructure projects in the Capital Region and Mohawk Valley, the governor’s office announced Friday.

Also in Schenectady County, the town of Duanesburg was awarded a $750,000 grant and $2.25 million loan.

The city of Amsterdam received a $1.25 million grant and an estimated $3.75 million loan to help the city’s failing sewer system, which in the past two months has dumped more than a million gallons of partially treated and raw sewage into the Mohawk River.

In Saratoga County, the town of Ballston got a nearly $2.6 million grant and $7.7 million loan. The village of Corinth got a $5 million grant and $15.5 million loan.

In Schoharie County, the village of Cobleskill got a $2.9 million grant and $1.9 million loan. The village of Sharon Springs got a $409,900 grant and $1.2 million loan.

The city of Gloversville in Fulton County also got a $3 million grant.

The projects awarded state funding include the planning, design and construction or enhancement of treatment plants, pump stations and sewer systems and equipment, along with upgrades and replacements for drinking water systems, filtration plants and water mains.

In addition to the grants, interest-free and low-interest loans were offered to further reduce the cost of the infrastructure projects.

A total of $218 million in loans are expected to be provided by the state Environmental Facilities Corporation to communities in the Capital Region and Mohawk Valley, according to the governor’s office.

Reach Gazette reporter Haley Viccaro at 395-3114, hviccaro@dailygazette.net or @HRViccaro on Twitter.

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