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Wastewater rates rose by three percent

JOHNSTOWN — The residential rate for users of the Gloversville-Johnstown Wastewater Treatment Facility increased by nearly 3 percent in 2019, according to the facility’s annual report released recently.

The 2019 report said the rate jumped by 2.8 percent; while the average industrial sewer bill slightly increased. The residential rate was $2.54 per 1,000 gallons of wastewater flow.

“Residential rates have remained low since 2008,” the report said.

Elsewhere in the 21-page report, the facility noted a UV Disinfection Project was successfully operated from May to October.

The operation and maintenance budget totaled $4.43 million for 2019. The estimated budget was $4.78 million, so under budget savings were $353,000.

The facility saved $427,879 in electrical energy. O&M revenue totaled $4.14 million during 2019. The industrial contribution was 45.2 percent; residential was 27.1 percent; and trucked/pumped waste and miscellaneous revenue totaled 27.8 percent.

Top users of the sewer plant in 2019 were: FAGE, Euphrates, septic haulers, county landfill, Colonial Tanning, Hale Creek ASATC, National Grid, Adirondack Septic, Century Linen and Simco.

Use of $468,317 from the rate stabilization reserve fund helped to minimize the rate increase.

Belt filter presses operated 3,789 hours producing 18,485 wet tons of sludge. The Fulton County Department of Solid Waste received $629,622 to accept the sludge.

The report said the dairy industry accounted for 31.5 percent of the total O&M revenue collected. Together, FAGE USA Dairy Inc. and Euphrates Inc. pumped a total of 28.1 million gallons of whey and 206.5 million gallons of washwater to the facility for wastewater processing via two dedicated pipelines.

The report indicated the “foundation for success” of the facility is the support from the Gloversville-Johnstown Joint Sewer Board and the work of the sewer plant’s 23 employees.

“As a result of the conscientious efforts by the GJJWTF employees on days, nights, weekends, holidays, during severe weather and often in an inhospitable environment, the facility continues to operate and meet its wastewater discharge SPDES permit requirements,” the report said.

The report listed 20 “improvement projects” accomplished during 2019. They included: installing a variable diffuser motor in a blower, replacing lights in a tank walkway, installing a temporary potassium permanganate chemical feed system, and installing water and polymer lines for a new blending system.

Total suspended industrial solids decreased by 15.3 percent in 2019, with industrial flows down by 6.75 percent.

Facility non-compliances on SPDES were on Aug. 8 and Nov. 1. Three alert notifications occurred on June 24, July 1 and Oct. 8.

For 2019, trucked and pumped waste receipts totaled $778,009. The largest single company was Adirondack Septic.

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