Issue in Focus: Lake George Wastewater Treatment Plant

Issue

The levels of nitrate-nitrogen pollution entering Lake George are excessive due to wastewater flow from the Village of Lake George Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Solution

Reduce the levels of nitrate-nitrogen pollution entering Lake George by minimizing the flows of wastewater from the Village of Lake George Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Overview

The Village of Lake George Wastewater Treatment Plant is the largest permitted discharge within the Lake George watershed. Documented for decades, the Plant’s discharge has resulted in these negative impacts to water quality: 

  • The Plant is currently under an Order of Consent with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.
  • The Current Compliance Status of the Plant is Noncompliance for being in violation of discharge requirements for nitrates for each of the past 13 quarters, per the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s Enforcement and Compliance webpage.
  •  Sampling over the past summer indicated one of the sampling wells for the Plant has exceeded the permitted nitrate limits of 10 mg/l for 8 of 9 required bi-monthly samples and the impact of the Plant discharge is a seven-fold increase in the average nitrate-nitrogen concentration in West Brook.

  • The performance of the Plant has resulted in $29,420 in penalties from Formal Enforcement Actions in the past five years per the USEPA Enforcement and Compliance webpage.

Recommended Actions

  • Implementation of a moratorium by the Village and Town of Lake George for any new connections to the sanitary sewer collection system that increase wastewater flow to the Plant
  • Compliance by the Village of Lake George with the current Order of Consent
  • Development of an Engineering Report by the Village of Lake George to solve the nitrate-nitrogen problem with the Plant
  • Implementation of the monitoring and sampling program (as recommended by the Project Team conducting a plant operation review) by the Village of Lake George.

Download a PDF with this information

For more information please contact Lake George Waterkeeper Chris Navitsky at cnavitsky [at] lakegeorgewaterkeeper.org or 518 668 9700 ext 301.