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Niskayuna officials submit sewer plan to DEC

Each day a violation continues it is considered a separate offense. The misdemeanor charge has been removed though and all drainage connections, past and present, are held under the law.

Town officials also have a few different areas they are looking to tackle the problem.

The Chazen Companies were hired by the town and paid around $12,000, according to Richard Pollock, superintendent for engineering at the town, to find solutions for how the town can address the inflow and infiltration (I/I)concerns.

Inflow is storm water entering the sanitary sewer system through direct connection points, such as improper connections of sump pumps in residential homes. Infiltration is ground water that enters the sanitary sewer cracks in sewer pipes.

"It is going to take us a while to find out how much money we are going to have to spend and how much money we are spending to make certain improvements," said Supervisor Joe Landry. "We go on a year to year budget process based on what we want to do with the collection system and other improvements we believe."

If the town did all of the recommendations provided by Chazen it would cost around $3 million over five years, but Pollock said it isn't clear how much work the town will need to do in order to reduce the I/I levels.

Expansion of the waste water treatment plant isn't warranted until around 2020, which would be a significant cost, said Pollock. The waste water treatment plant is currently rated to handle 3 million gallons per day, but Pollock said the WWTP can handle 4.5 million gallons per day.

Pollock said when flow limits are exceeded the only difference in processing is that three of the four aeration tanks are shut down and the air is turned off. Those tanks hold what Pollock referred to as "bugs," which are microorganisms that treat the water.

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