Lake George Village will borrow $1.8 million to comply with orders issued by the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation after a July, 2009 sewer break spilled thousands of gallons of sewage into Lake George.
State laws prohibit the discharge of sewage into Lake George.
“It’s a lot of money, but it has to be done,” said Village Trustee John Root.
According to Mayor Bob Blais, the DEC ordered Lake George Village to repair pipes and the pump station in Shepard Park where the break occurred and complete an Asset Management Plan for the entire wastewater system.
The plan, the order stated, must include: “an inventory of all wastewater collection system assets; an evaluation of conditions; a description of necessary repairs or replacements; the schedule for repairs; costs of repairs.”
Dave Harrington, the Village’s Superintendent of Public Works, said crews from Lake George Village’s Department of Public Works and the construction firm TKC completed repairs to the pump station in Shepard Park and a new section of pipe where the break occurred was installed. Village crews also installed additional alarms within the pump building, Harrington said.
In November of 2009, the Lake George Village Board of Trustees appropriated $5000 to retain C.T. Male Associates to draft the Asset Management Plan.
That plan has been completed and approved by the DEC, and the improvements to the wastewater collection system can now be undertaken, said Blais.
“We will be lining the pipes along the lake, in line with the recommendations of DEC in the order, to alleviate problems so that something like the 2009 break never happens again,” said Blais.
Where water from basements and drains and other sources is suspected of infiltrating the wastewater collection system, additional pipes will be lined and repaired, Blais said.
New York’s Environmental Facilities Corporation will help fund the $1.8 million loan, said Blais.
Lake George Village will repay it over thirty years, he said.
According to Blais, Lake George Village has also applied for a grant through the state’s Environmental Protection Fund to install equipment at the Wastewater Treatment Plant that will remove nitrogen from effluent.
“That’s not part of the Consent Order, but it is a way for us to upgrade the Wastewater Treatment plant and make it more efficient,” said Blais.
Without a grant from the EPF, the entire project could have cost as much as $3.8 million, said Village Clerk Darlene Gunther.
In return for complying with DEC’s Consent Order, the Village avoided thousands of dollars in fines, said Blais.
“DEC worked with us and was very helpful,” said Blais.
Photo: Aerial view of Lake George Village.
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