Proposed $20 Million Project to Overhaul Niagara Falls’ Wastewater System

Dec. 26, 2017
The proposed funding would go towards both storm water and wastewater systems

Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York has announced that he will submit legislation that would inject $20 million into a makeover of Niagara Falls’ storm and wastewater systems.

Cuomo calls the potential cash injection “phase one” of significant measures taken to protect water quality and prevent further water pollution.

The announcement comes on the heels of a massive malfunctioning of Niagara Falls’ wastewater treatment plant this past July, an incident that resulted in a $50,000 fine for the Water Board.

The proposed legislation would seek to specifically address the Michael C. O’Laughlin Wastewater Treatment Plant, the main plant tied to the July spillage. The spill was eventually attributed to human error, but nonetheless brought waves of negative press toward the event.

If the funds are awarded, they will be diversified across several areas, including the optimization of staff training, $500,000 towards expediting two engineering studies, an updating of the plant’s operational manual and general improvements to the treatment process, according to Cuomo’s administration.

“The impacts of our aging water infrastructure became intolerable this year after multiple discharges discolored the pristine water at Niagara Falls,” said Cuomo. “We have a responsibility to safeguard our natural resources and this administration will do everything in our power to protect the integrity of our water.”

The plant at hand was originally constructed in the 1970s and serves roughly 52,000 people in the Niagara Falls area.