Sewer use increased in 2018

Industrial usage at 8.4% increase

JOHNSTOWN — Total industrial use of the Gloversville-Johnstown Wastewater Treatment Facility increased by 8.4 percent in 2018.

Figures related to industrial flows are contained in the sewage treatment plant’s public 2018 annual report, released recently by the Gloversville-Johnstown Joint Sewer Board.

Operation and maintenance revenues for the facility totaled $4.4 million during 2018 – an 11 percent increase from the year before. The industrial contribution was 56.1 percent, residential was 26.1 percent; and trucked/pumped waste and miscellaneous revenue totaled 17.8 percent. Both residential and industrial sewer bills rose slightly last year.

The dairy industry accounted for 44.7 percent of the total operation and maintenance collected. Together at the Johnstown Industrial Park, FAGE USA Dairy Industry Inc. and Euphrates Inc. in 2018 pumped a total of 24.9 million gallons of whey and 237.8 million gallons of washwater to the sewer plant for processing.

Belt filter presses operated 3,605 hours producing 20,300 wet tons of sludge. The Fulton County Department of Solid Waste received $692,559 to accept the sludge.

In the personnel area, new hires at the facility included Haleigh Dutcher as a laboratory technician, and Reuben Kennedy as a motor equipment maintenance mechanic. Retirements included: lab technician Robert Henze after 28 years of service, and motor equipment maintenance mechanic Timothy Hutchinson after 14 years of service.

The report noted 23 improvement projects were accomplished during 2018. They included: installation of chemical pumps, inspection and cleaning of all primary tanks, greasing and checking all belt presses, installation of a backup mixer in the solids holding tank, and replacement of a dozen conveyor lines.

The facility in 2018 participated in a Water Resource Reclamation Facility baseline study. The study focused on the internal planning process that facilitates integration of capital and energy projects. A study report said the Glove Cities facility is a “good candidate” to participate in a future capital and energy planning initiative.

Miller, Mannix, Schachner & Hafner, LLC – a Glens Falls-based law firm – will continue to serve the facility for legal services. The firm’s contract was extended through 2019.

The report said the facility was not in full compliance with State Pollultant Discharge Elimination System permit conditions during 2018. One non-compliance event occurred on Sept. 19 for settleable solids.

The newly operational CAST System required purchase of two new chemicals, including 41,825 pounds of potassium permanganate for odor control.

The facility processed 20.9 million gallons of leachate in 2018. This represented a 21 percent increase compared to 2017. The Fulton County landfill pumped leachate to the facility via a dedicated five-mile long force main.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at