Village to remove more nitrogen from sewer discharges

LAKEGEORGE - The village government has has been awarded a $650,000 grant from the state Environmental Facilities Corporation through the agency's Green Innovation grant program. The highly competitive program is funded through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Faced with elevated nitrate concentration in the village sewer system's effluent, the Village applied for money to complete their multi-year effort to upgrade and boost efficiency of its wastewater treatment plant. The funds will allow the Village to undertake a project to install the latest technology to remove nitrogen from the plant's effluent.

"This is a major step in achieving the plant's efficiency and making it one of the nation's most effective on-site wastewater facilities, Village Mayor Robert Blais said.

Village Public Works Superintendent David Harrington and Chief Plant Operator Reginald Burlingame worked with the office of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand to obtain the grant. The nitrogen-removal upgrades are expected to total $1.2 million, and the difference between that sum and the $650,000 grant will be paid by village taxpayers, Blais said Tuesday.

He added that the village had applied for a nitrogen-removal grant several times before, but this latest application, through the Green Innovation program, apparently met the criteria and beat out the intense competition for the money.

This spring, the Village will be slip-lining hundreds of feet of sewer mains along the lake and also reducing several areas of ground water infiltration into the sewer system. The Town of Lake George is expected to do the same, and the efforts of the two municipalities are expected to reduce operating costs at the village's treatment plant.

This grant brings to a total of over $3.5 million in grants received by the Village over the past two years. Included in that total are grants for the Village streetscape and wastewater improvements as well as for the West Brook Park and for developing the Blueway Trail.

Blais said the ongoing sewer and wastewater treatment upgrades represented major steps forward in protecting the lake - area citizens' most valuable resource.

"The success we have had in obtaining this substantial amount of funds indicates the importance that the state, our elected officials and our friends in Albany place in the value of Lake George and our community," he said.

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