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New plant means better water for Colonie

The American Council of Engineering Companies awarded Colonie's Mohawk View water treatment plant for the skill and ingenuity exhibited in renovations to the plant completed two years ago.

The filtered water from the plant also placed second in the county Drinking Water Contest Taste Test, losing to the city of Albany by two points. And when temperatures exceeded 90 degrees several weeks ago, the plant nearly broke its own distribution record by pumping out 23 million gallons in 24 hours.

It's working just like we planned, said John Frazer, Latham water superintendent.

The expansion began in May 2003 to upgrade the 36-year old plant that draws water from the Mohawk River, area wells and Clifton Park's Stony Creek Reservoir. The plant serves more than 78,500 residential, commercial and industrial customers.

The upgrade, unveiled in October 2005, brought the plant up from 20 million gallons of treated water per day to 31.5 million.

By design, the plant will meet water demand and new environmental and health regulations up to the year 2025. Transmission and service lines were also added to the system to meet demand and potential growth in areas of the town. Just in case demand exceeds expectations, the plant was designed to take on additional apparatuses for water treatment and distribution, said Frazer.

In all, the project includes all new water pre-treatment systems, new settling basins to separate larger particles from incoming water, new carbon filters, new dewatering sites for waste and a plant wide control and data system with satellite checkpoints throughout the plant.

Since the new addition went online introducing activated carbon filtration, contaminates have been lower than they have ever been and far exceed minimum health standards.

Before the plant was expanded, treatment and distribution of water throughout the Latham water district was maxed out, often calling for water restrictions to limit demand. Since the expansion went online, water quality has been up and the town has not issued a water restriction.

All of the work to meet the demand was completed within the original budget of $24.22 million.

"The Mohawk View Water Treatment Plant is truly a success. We completed the project within the original budget and most importantly we can continue to serve the water needs of the residents and visitors in the town of Colonie," said Supervisor Mary Brizzell in a written statement.

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