E'town addresses concerns with sewage plan

ELIZABETHTOWN - Town officials in support of a new wastewater treatment system in Elizabethtown held an informational meeting Oct. 13 to address some of the public's top concerns.

The project, which is expected to total more than $9.5 million, involves a gravity-based sewer system that would service the most dense areas of the hamlet and feed into a wastewater treatment plant along the Boquet River on Woodruff Lane.

Many residents, including several members of the town's planning board, have opposed the project, wary of a noisy, malodorous, or ugly sewage plant that could ruin property values or interfere with their well-being.

Engineers involved in the sewer system's design, together with supervisor Noel Merrihew, worked to assure the 20 residents present at the meeting that the infrastructure would be designed with those concerns in mind.

Rick Straut, an engineer from Barton and Loguidice, said the state Department of Environmental Conservation has urged the town for several years to install a municipal sewer system because of repeated septic system failures and issues with waste disposal at Elizabethtown Community Hospital.

"Also, this is a smart growth concept to spur economic growth within the hamlet," he stated.

Jack Dodson of Dodson and Associates, another engineering firm involved in the project, said the treatment plant will be housed in an enclosed building that will be soundproofed and equipped with odor-controlling ventilation to prevent it from being a nuisance to neighboring properties.

"Architecturally, we can make this look and blend in as folks feel comfortable," Dodson said, noting they intend to work with Historic Preservation department officials to make the building fit in with the other historic buildings nearby.

The plant will employ two sequencing batch reactor tanks, which reduce bacteria and odor from developing in the wastewater as it's treated.

"The sludge that is produced there will be trucked off-site to another treatment facility in either Ticonderoga or Plattsburgh," Straut explained.

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