Sewer plant reports excess flows

JOHNSTOWN — The Gloversville-Johnstown Wastewater Treatment Facility notified the state Department of Environmental Conservation of non-compliance due to excess sewer flows caused by weather conditions in February.

Facility Manager Wallace Arnold said the weather event lasted over three days in February when temperatures were over 60 degrees, causing excessive flows of 12 million gallons.

“It was brutal,” the manager said.

In a report recently to the Gloversville-Johnstown Joint Sewer Board, Arnold said his facility had to report three “non-compliance” events in February. The “upsets,” or extraordinary flows involved levels of total suspended solids a pH levels in the treatment process.

Arnold said they occurred due to a two-inch rainstorm and record high temperatures causing early snowmelt.

“That groundwater melting started rising over the hydraulic flow,” Arnold said.

He said bacterial cultures and an anti-foaming agent were added to the sewage treatment plant’s aeration process, and the facility has fully recovered from all non-compliance events.

On another topic, Arnold told the board that a Deficiency Notice was received from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. He said the issues identified were during a SPDES compliance sampling inspection conducted last Aug. 24 and 25 at the facility.

SPDES stands for State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System and is the program that the sewer plant’s permit is based on. The sewer plant received a renewed SPDES permit that was effective March 1.

Three deficiencies were noted regarding sampling location, foam discharge and overflow. Arnold said a response letter was submitted to EPA.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at [email protected]

By Chad Fleck

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