SPECULATOR -- Village of Speculator Wastewater Treatment Plant Chief Operator Florence Braunius has a list of needs for the Board of Trustees to consider when it starts work on its 2014/15 budget.
There is a hole in the wall of Unit 1 between the digester and the chlorine contact tank at the WWTP, Braunius says. “This is related to the problem of the coating on the steel being compromised,” Braunius told the trustees Dec. 9. “Two or three years ago we got a quote from Lamont Engineers [in Cobleskill] that estimated the cost to sandblast and put a new coating on the clarifier at around $53,000.”
If the board wants to fix the problem, Braunius says, the work would need to be done in the spring, before the tank goes into use by the end of June.
The variable-frequency drives have a useful life expectancy of seven to 10 years. Replacing two VFDs would cost $15,000. The flow meter at the plant is 20 years old, and the replacement cost is $7,000.
Also, Braunius says, the Dynablend unit used to dispense polymer into the sludge line when pumping solids to the drying beds is over 20 years old and should be replaced. This would cost $11,000.
The grit chamber needs a new comminutor, a device that grinds up solids that slip through screening equipment before they can reach the aeration tank, dewatering equipment, digesters and nozzles that can easily become plugged.
The diffuser membranes in Unit 2 of the aeration system need to be replaced at a cost of $3,000. Braunius says one set of membranes was new in 2007 and the other in 1996. “Their planned replacement is every six to seven years,” she says.
The land application site needs to be expanded ($4,000) in preparation for applying for a new permit in 2016, Braunius says.
Other needs are two sludge bays that need work and the cab is rusting off the department’s 2003 New Holland Tractor, which gets a lot of use year-round.
Also, two propane vaporizers, one at the well control building and one at the WWTP, are 16 and 18 years old respectively and their lifespan is 12 years. Braunius said she was waiting for prices for new ones from J&R Eldredge.
Many water and sewer needs have been allowed to slide for years, with only the most pressing being dealt with each year. With the water and sewer departments now self-supporting, due to higher fees, Braunius hopes there will be money in the 2013/14 budget to address some of them.
The village applied for a planning grant but was denied. It would have allowed the village to hire an engineering firm to develop a Preliminary Report, which is required when seeking funding from the NYS Environmental Facilities Corporation for water and wastewater infrastructure projects.
“We have been able to manage small projects to keep up with what needs to be done at a minimal level,” Braunius says, “but time waits on no water or wastewater system. It is a constant process requiring good asset management to stay in compliance and meet the needs of the public.”
“We have replaced our original telemetry system for the water department, we resurfaced one of three sludge bays with porous asphalt, and we have replaced the chlorination system for our drinking water. These three items combined cost over $50,000. Our two oldest [sewage] pump stations have been rehabilitated as well, which was another $35,000.”
-- Tom Basnight has been appointed to the village Planning Board.
-- Mayor Letty Rudes presented Water & Wastewater Department Systems Foreman Jim Desrochers with a certificate recognizing him for 25 years of employment with the village
-- Village Clerk Bonnie Page reported a letter has been received from the NYS Department of Transportation saying it has completed a study on lowering the speed limit on state highways in the village and is not going to do it. “The need for reducing the speed limit has not been met,” Page quoted from the letter.