News Feature | October 26, 2017

As NY Awards $225M, Lake George Receives Wastewater Infrastructure Salvation

Peter Chawaga - editor

By Peter Chawaga, Associate Editor, Water Online

lake george.reg

In an all too rare instance of a wastewater utility receiving the funding it needs to address infrastructure issues and keep technology up-to-date, Lake George, NY, has been granted a whopping investment from state regulators.

“Lake George is known for its crystal clear waters that serve as a tourist attraction and economic anchor for the region. The lake also serves as a drinking water source for surrounding communities,” WAMC reported. “Conservation groups like the Lake George Association [LGA] have been echoing municipalities’ calls for state support for wastewater and storm water infrastructure improvements.”

And it looks like those calls were heard this month as Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a total $44 million in grants for water infrastructure improvements throughout the region, plus $225 million announced for projects statewide trough New York’s Water Infrastructure Improvement Act, and $4.23 million reaching Lake George Village.

Lake George is operating a wastewater treatment plant that was built in 1935, which has difficulty keeping up during the tourist season in the summer. It is also under a consent order to reduce the nutrients that enter the lake.

“Some of the systems around the area have turned out to be not failing but in danger of failing or showing signs of their age,” Walt Lender, executive director of the LGA, said, per WAMC. “So some serious funding needs to be poured into these systems to upgrade them so that they do not pose a risk to the water quality of Lake George.”

There is land next to the present facility that is available for building a new plant. Initial estimates for doing so came in at about $17 million, per WAMC, and the recent funding is a first step toward that goal.

“The Village Board last month voted to retain the services of the Chazen Companies to complete design work for the project,” reported The Post-Star. “The schedule calls for the final construction plans to be submitted to the state by October 2018. The work would be bid out in the winter of 2019, with construction taking place from the summer or fall of 2019 to late spring of 2021.”

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Image credit: "Lake George, NY," diane cordell, 2014, used under an Attribution 2.0 Generic license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/