She said Gooseneck and Lake George plants were damaged by severe storms in 2011 and 2012.
“We aren’t confident our old systems will withstand another Hurricane Irene or Sandy. The vulnerability of the systems and declining water quality is exactly why New York state mandated us to upgrade or replace (them).”
They are looking at a groundwater source because it requires less chemical treatment, less operation and maintenance costs and is overall much less expensive to operate than the technology used for surface-water filtration plants, Malaney said.
In 2009, the Department of Health ordered the town to replace or cover Gooseneck Reservoir, which was built in 1931.
The town first proposed replacing the reservoir with storage tanks, but an inspection found deterioration in the Gooseneck Pond Dam and the water mains there.
During another inspection, the state also ascertained that the Baldwin Road filtration plant, which draws Lake George water, was failing.
Some residents of Streetroad had expressed concerns that a municipal well there could affect their residential wells, but Malaney said the engineers on the project, AES Northeast of Plattsburgh, assured them it likely would not.
The town also agreed to cover the costs if new, deeper wells had to be drilled for residents.
The project cost is being offset with more than $2 million in state grant funds received so far and another $4 million in grant applications that the town expects to have confirmation on before the end of the year.
“The project is down to approximately $11 million because of the town’s diligence in applying for funding and grants,” Malaney said.
“More funding opportunities are coming in 2014, which will offset even more costs, payable over 30 years.”
The state has mandated that the new groundwater source or the mandatory upgrades be in place by 2016, she said, or the town could face fines of up to $37,000 a day.
Email Lohr McKinstry:email@example.com