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EPA rules may add to cost of Carthage water project

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WEST CARTHAGE — Moving ahead on the study of upgrades to the Carthage/West Carthage Water Pollution Control Facilities, representatives from GHD Consulting Engineers LLC, Cazenovia, presented a report to the facilities management board last week.

Due to changes in Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Environmental Conservation regulations, equipment for disinfection may have to be added to the renovation plan.

Disinfection would inactivate or destroy pathogenic organisms. Although the plant now does not disinfect, a letter from the DEC in December encouraged its inclusion in the capital project. The GHD engineers considered two alternatives, liquid treatment and ultraviolet light.

They recommended the use of sodium hypochlorite and dechlorination with sodium bisulfite. The existing chemical tank area and contact tank may have to be altered to accommodate the addition of disinfectant.

Michael E. Tamblin of GHD said through its initial research, ultraviolet light “is not as favorable.” However, since it could be installed in the existing contact tank, it may be more economical.

In addition, the lack of availability of machine parts may force a purchase of needed equipment. GHD considered three types of solids-processing equipment, a plate and frame press, which the plant now uses; a centrifuge, and a belt filter press.

GHD’s research showed that although the capital cost of the plate and frame press was more, it was the most efficient system and would cost less to maintain. The capital cost of the plate and frame press is $1.4 million, with an annual operation and maintenance cost of $142,000 with anticipated 32 percent of the solids removed. Over the next 20 years the equipment would average out to cost $3.3 million, compared with the belt filter press at an initial cost of $600,000 with $218,000 annual cost removing 20 percent of the solids for a 20-year cost of $3.6 million. The centrifuge system would cost $800,000 with a $198,000 annual cost, 25 percent solids removal and a $3.5 million 20-year cost.

Another modification to the preliminary engineering report concerns the metering/sampling building at Carthage Speciality Paper, formerly known as Climax Manufacturing. The building, which was constructed in the late 1960s, could be renovated or replaced. Upgrades were made recently at the site for flow monitoring, sampling and communications equipment. The engineers pointed out the lower cost option would be to rehabilitate the building.

The costs are divided 50-50 for industrial and residential use for the $8.5 million anticipated project costs. The current residential user cost is $372 per year and it is projected this will rise by $52 per year.

The firm is tying up loose ends to meet the Feb. 3 finance application deadline to qualify for grants through the state Environmental Facilities Corp.’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund.

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