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For Release: Monday, December 2, 2013

DEC Lifts Moratorium on Cairo Wastewater System

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has lifted its moratorium on new connections to the town of Cairo's wastewater treatment plant, DEC Regional Director Gene Kelly announced today.

"I'm pleased to announce that Cairo has made the required improvements to its wastewater treatment facilities so that DEC can now allow increased flow at the plant to accommodate new development in the town," Kelly said. "We applaud the steps that the town has taken, including the expenditure of significant resources to bring its wastewater treatment system into state compliance which will accommodate future growth in this community."

The moratorium, which DEC originally imposed in 2001, prohibited all new connections, expansions, or increases in flow at the towns Greene County wastewater treatment plant unless significant offsets in flow were demonstrated, economic hardship could be shown, or public health threats had to be addressed.

To bring the plant into compliance, the town undertook a number of measures to address significant deficiencies in the way its wastewater was treated. The town was required to develop, submit, and act on plans to reduce inflow and infiltration, manage high wet weather flows, assess and fix as necessary existing filters, and upgrade the treatment plant.

Inflow is water from sump pumps or roof downspouts that gets discharged to a sewer system, while infiltration is groundwater seeping into sewer pipes through cracks or joints. Excessive inflow and infiltration can overwhelm wastewater treatment systems and both are common in older sewer systems throughout the country.

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