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Temporary OK given for sewer odor mitigation program

JOHNSTOWN — The state Department of Environmental Conservation has granted temporary approval for the Gloversville-Johnstown Wastewater Treatment Facility to launch a 12-month pilot program to mitigate odors.

Facility Manager Wallace Arnold reported the approval last week to the Gloversville-Johnstown Joint Sewer Board.

He said DEC reviewed plans and specs of a chemical feed system to dispense potassium permanganate into the facility’s Contact Absorption Settling Thickening system, or CAST system process, for mitigating operational odors.

Arnold said DEC granted temporary approval to use the chemical feed system for a 12-month term as a pilot project.

The project is subject to several conditions, which board Chairman Wrandy Siarkowski said Wednesday the sewage treatment plant should be able to meet. Some of the requirements relate to whole effluent toxicity, or WET testing, for effluent samples.

“I don’t believe it’s going to be an issue,” Siarkowski said.

The state put the following conditions on the facility: continue WET testing, notify DEC if odor complaints are received, provide a report detailing the effectiveness of the pilot project, and provide for an engineering study to resolve odor issues if the pilot project is unsuccessful.

Siarkowski said the sewer plant will be purchasing a mixer to mix the potassium permanganate. He said the mixer will be more efficient than the current, more labor intensive hand-mixing method for the chemical. He said the facility will also be able to better handle certain amounts of the chemical through a more efficient measuring system.

He said the facility is ordering the mixer, which it may not have for another 12 weeks.

Arnold also reported that the Carus Corp. agreed to honor pricing from a bid award of $86,700 it received last August for supply and installation of a chemical feed system.

The facility has spent millions of dollars in recent years to implement the CAST system, only to find it spawned unacceptable odors at the plant, which spread into parts of Johnstown. The CAST system is needed to process large amounts of whey. The whey comes mostly from top sewer plant customer FAGE USA, the giant yogurt manufacturer at the Johnstown Industrial Park. But officials have introduced smaller amounts of potassium permanganate into the system to cut down on odors, while seeking approval to use it through the state.

In other recent board action:

∫ The board reappointed its 2018 officers as follows for 2019: Siarkowski, chairman; John Rizzo, vice chairman; and Bobbi Trudel, secretary.

∫ A bid proposal was accepted from Solenis LLC for a two-year contract for the supply and delivery of dry polymer at a cost of $1.95 per pound. The board also accepted a bid proposal from the same firm for a two-year contract for supply and delivery of emulsion polymer at a cost of $1.48 per pound.

∫ Fiscal Officer Donna Renda reviewed a request for a sewer bill adjustment for excess water usage for property at 80 Division St. in Gloversville. Following an inspection conducted by Arnold, the board approved a $264.44 credit since the water didn’t enter the sewer system to be treated.

∫ Arnold reported progress continues on a UV disinfection structure project. Framing of the main structure is nearly complete with trusses set. Roofing is scheduled to begin shortly, and wiring installation has started for electronic controls.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at manich@leaderherald.com.

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