For immediate release: March 3, 2016
FUND Invests in Much-Needed Upgrade of Lake George Village Wastewater Treatment Plant
The FUND for Lake George has awarded a grant of $20,000 to the Village of Lake George toward upgrading its Wastewater Treatment Plant. Funding will pay for survey work to be performed in designing replacement of the existing plant. This latest grant is among the priority investments being made by The FUND to “stop the present decline of water quality and achieve sustained protection of Lake George for the next generation,” the driving goal of the organization’s Legacy Strategy.
“The Village of Lake George is honored to be a leader in the stewardship of our beloved Lake George,” said Mayor Robert Blais. “We are committed to improving the treatment efficiency of our plant to ensure it no longer harms the lake’s renowned water quality,” Blais said. “Doing so in the earliest possible timeframe requires dedicated financial support. We are truly grateful to The FUND for helping advance the project as now needed.”
The Village of Lake George has recently submitted and received approval of a Preliminary Engineering Report for the Wastewater Treatment Plant from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. The existing plant was constructed in the 1930s and has received violations for exceeding allowable limits on nitrates that can lead to water quality impairment and nutrient pollution. The Engineering Report recommends replacement of the outdated facility with a new treatment plant that incorporates technologies to significantly reduce nitrate levels while also implementing green infrastructure to reduce and control stormwater runoff and provide for water reuse. Together these actions will deliver the level of performance needed to help safeguard lake health.
“The Village is on a very tight timeline to complete this essential project in the next three years,” said David Harrington, Superintendent of the Department of Public Works for the Village. “With preliminary estimates for completion approaching $15 million, we are anticipating funding from several sources to assist in the project’s design and construction,” Harrington said. “Given the long lead times expected for such financing, The FUND’s grant allows our engineers to start the design process without delay and keep the project on track for completion as soon as possible.”
As proposed, plant upgrades will include a sequence batch reactor that facilitates the removal of nitrates flowing into Lake George via West Brook. According to a recent monitoring report completed by The FUND’s Lake George Waterkeeper, nitrate pollution is impacting the surface waters of Lake George, contributing to increased algae growth, reduced water quality and clarity, and diminished ecology of West Brook.
“The Village Wastewater Plant is a major pollutant discharger in the Lake George watershed demanding immediate attention,” said Chris Navitsky, the Lake George Waterkeeper. “The Mayor’s partnership has been instrumental to addressing many water quality threats. Having his leadership now is critical to solving this serious problem and leaving a legacy of lake protection we can all be proud of,” Navitsky said.
The FUND for Lake George is a privately funded not-for-profit organization dedicated to the protection of Lake George. Formed in 1980, The FUND applies a science-based approach to protection focused on Lake George water quality and the overall health of the Lake George watershed. The FUND pursues this mission through support of long-term scientific research, direct advocacy, and strategic partnerships with diverse public and private interests. Mounting threats to the water quality and natural character of Lake George, as revealed by latest research, compelled The FUND to launch its Legacy Strategy in 2013, with one goal: stopping the present decline of water quality and achieving sustained protection of Lake George for the next generation. The Legacy Strategy embraces environmental and economic imperatives as required to fulfill this goal. The FUND sponsors the Lake George Waterkeeper among other programs. The FUND for Lake George is managed by a Board of Trustees and maintains an office in Lake George Village. For more on The FUND’s work, visit fundforlakegeorge.org.