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City sewage collection system improvements begin next year

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The city of Ogdensburg will begin next year making improvements to its sewage collection system so it will comply with federal and state regulations for the amount of wastewater it treats.

On Monday, the city council was briefed on the $5 million-plus project by John J. LaGorga and Joseph H. Dodd of GHD Consulting Engineers, LLC, Cazenovia.

A 2010 GHD study of the city’s storm and sanitary collection systems and treatment plants concluded that found that they are not up to state and federal standards.

A multi-year, state-approved control plan calls for a goal of capturing 90 percent of the combined sewage flow. That is five percent above the minimum required by state and federal guidelines, Mr. LaGorga said.

The collection system tributary to the St. Lawrence River now is only capturing 75 percent of the flow and the Oswegatchie River system is getting 90 percent.

The city next year will raise 17 weirs at a cost of $250,000. That, according to Mr. LaGorga, will raise the combined sewage flow to the Oswegatchie and St. Lawrence rivers to 93 and 78 percent, respectively.

“We want to maximize your existing infrastructure,” he said.

The improvements also calls for the installation of an 800,000-gallon storage tank facility to be built underneath the Paterson Street boat launch parking lot. That would collect overflow to be pumped back for treatment at the wastewater treatment plant on Railroad Street. The estimated cost is $4.5 million.

“At this point, we’re really at a concept level,” Mr. Dodd said.

The control plan was approved by the state Department of Environmental Conservation in July 2012.

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