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Fage USA tops list of sewer users

February 23, 2009
By MICHAEL ANICH/The Leader-Herald

JOHNSTOWN - Yogurt maker Fage USA is by far the biggest customer of the Gloversville-Johnstown Wastewater Treatment Facility, according to the sewer plant's annual report.

The plant's top 10 customers listed in the facility's 2008 report were recently discussed by the Gloversville-Johnstown Joint Sewer Board. It was noted that industrial use of the plant increased 25 percent from 2007 to the highest revenue level since 2000.

"This is an extraordinary year for this sewer board," Plant Manager George Bevington said.

Fage USA started operations at the Johnstown Industrial Park in April and almost immediately became the sewer plant's top customer.

For 2008, the yogurt manufacturer brought in $482,428 in revenue. The report said the second-highest amount of revenue came from National Grid at $205,800, followed by the Euphrates cheese factory at $181,424.

A large part of the annual report dealt with the startup of the sewer plant's $7 million upgrade project, being done to handle more whey and food byproduct waste from plants such as Fage and Euphrates. A $2.2 million U.S. Economic Development Administration grant was received for the upgrade. The New York State Energy Research & Development Authority also awarded the plant a $1 million grant to replace old cogeneration engines and another $400,000 for digester improvements.

Fact Box

Top users

The Glove Cities sewer plant's top users for 2008, listed by revenue they produced for the year:

1) Fage USA, $482,428.

2) National Grid, $205,800.

3) Euphrates cheese factory, $181,424.

4) Tradition Leather, $165,629.

5) Fulton County Sanitary Landfill, $161,771.

6) Simco Leather, $151,586.

7) Septic haulers, $123,203.

8) New York state's Hale Creek Alcohol & Substance Abuse Treatment Center, $117,358;

9) Townsend Leather, $81,927;

10) Municipal contracts, $81,567.

"I think 2008 was certainly the year of the grants," Bevington said.

He said the sewer plant also adhered well to its state Department of Environmental Conservation State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit.

"The Gloversville-Johnstown Wastewater Treatment Facility was in full compliance with all SPDES conditions for the first time in over a decade," the plant manager said.

In the personnel area, several longtime plant employees retired in 2008. The report said 36-year Maintenance Supervisor Richard Praetorius retired in February. Also, 31-year Senior Maintenance Mechanic William Rowback retired in April, and 31-year Lead Operator Paul Christman retired in July.

The plant had $206,000 in energy savings for the year, the report said.

Michael Anich can be reached at



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