Sewer plant odor issue on hold

JOHNSTOWN — The Gloversville-Johnstown Joint Sewer Board is waiting until its April 12 board meeting to consider hiring a firm to do an independent study of the sewer plant’s plagued CAST system.

The Gloversville-Johnstown Wastewater Treatment Facility has had ongoing odor issues with the system –part of an $8 million upgrade done a couple of years ago. The upgraded Contact Absorption Settling Thickening system, or CAST system, had been down since last May, until recently started up for testing.

Facility Manager Wallace Arnold said Thursday the board will wait until its April 12 meeting to decide if an independent study is merited.

Sewer officials said in November equipment to control widespread odors may cost $1 million and they are trying to get costs down. Officials say an independent evaluation may better be able to determine the eventual cost.

The $1 million figure came from current facility engineer Barton & Loguidice. The figure was so high the board directed Arnold to seek fresh proposals to fix the ongoing problem.

Arnold recently told the joint sewer board that the CAST system was actually started in “operational mode” on March 1 to help process loadings in the facility’s aeration tanks.

The main focus of the upgrade project is to treat waste byproducts mainly from two companies — cheese manufacturer Euphrates Inc. and yogurt manufacturer Fage Dairy USA — both located at the Johnstown Industrial Park. Sewer officials say the CAST system is a more economical way to treat incoming waste. The sewer plant in recent years has had to treat more volumes of waste, mainly from the two food processing facilities.

Wallace reported to his board he discussed with the U.S. EnvironmentAl Protection Agency pre-treatment regulations for Fage Dairy USA — the sewage treatment plant’s largest customer. It was decided Fage’s permit will be updated to include a modification for sampling involving oil and grease.