For Release: Wednesday, November 16, 2011
DEC Oneida County In Agreement of Additional Time To Correct Sauquoit Creek Sewer Line
End Date of the Consent Order Extended to December 31, 2021
Oneida County will have until December 31, 2021 to eliminate the sanitary sewer overflow (SSO) from its Sauquoit Creek Pump Station under an enforcement order announced by New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today.
On July 11, 2007, DEC and Oneida County executed an Order on Consent that required the County to eliminate the SSO from its Sauquoit Creek Pump Station by October 31, 2014. County Executive Picente requested the end date of the Order be extended based on an engineering study which concluded that the necessary upgrades to the pump station could not be completed any earlier because of the extent of upgrades needed and further engineering evaluations. With that study information, DEC and Oneida County worked out details on the new Order on Consent, which includes how the county will proceed to remove the SSO from the Sauquoit Creek Sewer Line.
"The County has worked closely with DEC staff to implement a practical resolution to correct the Sauquoit Creek Pump Station issues. The task is large and additional time is needed to ensure the work is done right and based on findings from engineering studies," DEC Region 6 Director Judy Drabicki said. "These improvements will protect water quality."
"The negotiated revised consent order is a promising step forward," stated Anthony J. Picente Jr., Oneida County Executive. "It importantly reflects the findings of the County's efforts to identify the causes of the overflows, the solutions to the defects in the sewage conveyance system and a plan to coordinate the work to be done. We now have a more realistic timeframe to systematically complete the extensive but necessary repairs. Nevertheless, an enormous job lies ahead, and finding the funds to complete a project of this magnitude still remains a major challenge. Our communities and our state and federal elected officials need to work together now to make sure we take this opportunity to successfully move ahead."
The Oneida County Sewer District serves approximately 110,000 people and is comprised of 15 member municipalities. Portions of these municipalities are located in various sewer collection basins which ultimately deliver the wastewater to the county water pollution control plant via pumping or gravity. The Sauquoit Creek Pump Station basin collects and pumps wastewater and includes nine member municipalities:
- Villages of New York Mills, Yorkville, Whitesboro, Oriskany, New Hartford, and Clayville
- Towns of Whitestown, New Hartford, and Paris (including the Oneida County Business Park, whose sewers are owned by Oneida County, but located in T. Whitestown).
The treatment capacity of the district's water pollution control plant is approximately 50 million gallons per day. During dry weather, the plant has the capacity to properly receive and treat sewage district wide. Due to deficiencies in the sewer collection system and lack of treatment capacity, wet weather events such as rain or snowmelt generate more wastewater than the plant can handle. To minimize instances of sewage backup into residential structures and onto streets, the current system releases the wastewater to various water bodies that include and ultimately discharge to the Mohawk River - a classified Impaired Water Body. Fish consumption is precluded in this stretch of water and impairment includes pathogens, odors, floatables and oxygen demand.