The Saratoga Sun -

Lagoon looked at

Water and Sewer board discusses lagoon upgrades, possibly improper sewage pump


The Saratoga Water and Sewer Joint Powers Board (sewer board) met Wednesday for a brief meeting where they discussed potential lagoon improvements and got to the bottom of a supposed illegal lift pump that had been uncovered on Rochester Street in Saratoga.

The pump was installed by Triple-D Construction with the purpose of lifting sewage from basement hookups at three lots being developed by the company to a sewage line that runs into a town-owned main that runs through the alleyway.

In late 2016, Triple-D ran into issues with the line after discovery of what some thought was an illegal lift pump.

According to ordinance, homes that drain sewage into the town’s main lines must be engineered in such a way that the grade between the lines will allow all sewage to flow by the force of gravity alone. The pump installed by Triple-D was originally believed to be a lift pump, which could pressurize the line, but according to Chuck Bartlett, owner of the construction firm, the pump installed is a grinder pump that merely grinds effluent and lifts it from the basement to the sewer line which runs into the town’s line completely by gravity, as spelled out in the ordinance.

Board member Craig Kopascz who is also an engineer said by his understanding of the ordinances, there is nothing illegal about Triple-D’s grinder pump setup since it merely lifts sewage to an on-grade sewage line that feeds into the main by gravity alone.

Board member Richard Raymer concurred, saying that such a pump becomes a problem if it were to force sewage into a town-owned line, but this lift pump did not appear to do that.

The Board concluded that the pump was not an issue and suggested Bartlett appear before the town council about the issue.

Jon Winter, Town of Saratoga director of public works also reported to the board that a consulting firm, Sunrise Engineering, had met twice with officials from the town and twice visited the site of the sewage treatment lagoon and would come up with a report of suggested improvements to the lagoon that the town should consider making.

The town has grant money awarded for the outfall project which was later deemed to be unnecessary. The grant money is still available to the town, however, so the town hired Sunrise to suggest improvements to the lagoon to make the system better and better suited for future expansion.

Sunrise was expected to deliver a report to the board by Jan. 20, Winter said.

The board also discussed some smaller improvements made to the system, including a system that alerts town workers to problems with the sewage system via smartphone alerts.

The next meeting of the sewer board will be 6 p.m. Feb. 8 at Saratoga Town Hall.


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