Plant upgrades will run in millions

Bethlehem sewer plant will see double the input in 30 years

— A 30-year plan for the Wastewater Treatment Plant on Dinmore Road was presented to the Bethlehem Town Board on Wednesday, March 14, capping off a two-year Department of Public Works study.

The study was performed with the help of two consulting firms, Clough Harbour & Associates and CDM Smith, to help the town find the most cost effective way to maintain the aging plant as the population of Bethlehem grows.

“The facility is more or less 40 years old,” said Commissioner of Public Works Erik Deyoe. “There is a lot of existing original equipment, existing original unit processes, and obviously the town has grown over that period of time. So we were interested in looking at what the long-term needs are, looking at future growth, as well as where we have limitations and redundancies to see how we can make the treatment process more robust.”

According to Karen Clark, vice president of CHA, the plant was built in 1972 with the capacity to treat 4.9 million gallons per day. Upgrades to the plant were performed in 1992 and the plant was re-rated in 2003 to increase the treatment capacity to 6 million gallons per day.

Various pieces of equipment have been updated over the years, prolonging the life of the plant, according to Clark. A new air compressor was purchased in 2006 and a new dissolved air flotation thickener, which is part of the process to turn waste into “sludge,” was installed in 2010. Because of damages sustained from Hurricane Irene, a clarifier that separates “sludge” from water was replaced this year.

The companies performed an energy study and inspection of the facilities and equipment, a climate change study, a sludge reduction study and a capacity analysis for the project. They also performed an odor control review because of complaints from nearby residents and those visiting Henry Hudson Park.

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