Wastewater Treatment Facility Waits On State For Approval

Oct. 3, 2018

Johnstown, N.Y., requests specific chemical use following odor problem

According to The Leader-Herald, the state of New York has not responded to a month-old request by the Gloversville-Johnstown Wastewater Treatment Facility to use a specific chemical to alleviate its long-time odor problems in Johnstown, N.Y.

Odor problems have continually hampered the facility’s ability to fully run its contact absorption settling thickening (CAST) system that is needed to process large amount of whey. The whey comes from Fage USA, yogurt manufacturer at the Johnstown industrial park.

Facility Manager Wallace Arnold reported to the Gloversville-Johnston Joint Sewer Board that a sewage treatment plant request was submitted Aug. 17 to the New York Department of Environmental Conservation. The facility requested permission to use potassium permanganate to mitigate odor generation during operation of the CAST system.

Facility Fiscal Officer Donna Renda said the sewer plant still has not heard from the state.

“They haven’t given permission yet,” Renda said.

Arnold said a bid for a chemical feed system was approved by the sewer board at the August meeting, contingent upon DEC approval to use potassium permanganate.

Board members told Arnold to contact the sewer board’s legal counsel to inquire on the status of the DEC approval.

He told the board that the DEC requested notification of all Gloversville-Johnstown Wastewater Treatment Facility odor complaints received from the public. The last complaint was received in February. The DEC said it will be notifying the sewer facility staff of any odor complaints take by its office.

The facility reported a Notice of Violation received from DEC on Mar. 26. It was issued for odor complaints due to operation of the CAST system. DEC requested submission of a long-term plan for treating high-strength waste and an evaluation of the CAST system ran well.

The new system has tried to serve as the facility’s upgrade to how heavy industrial waste is treated. The Union Avenue Extension facility several years ago underwent an $8 million CAST upgrade to treat waste byproducts from two Johnstown Industrial Park companies, yogurt manufacturer Fage USA and cheese manufacturer Euphrate Inc. the upgraded, more modern CAST system had been unusable for many of weeks and months because it generate strong odors in the sewer plant area.