K&J Show – 07/23/12 – Saranac Lake’s Water Project

PART THREE of our expose on the $13.5 million Project – On the K&J show today at 8:10am -

The Village of Saranac Lake is within weeks now, of announcing the inaugural flow of water  through their new $13.5 million water plant. The construction project, resulting from a water test failure in 2007 forcing village trustees to consider two options – filtering Mckensie Pond, or drilling new wells.  As for our tour..  it’s a very hot Friday afternoon and the sprinklers are keeping the grass green enough to make the best landscapers jealous. With the addition of the 2nd water tank for the village on Mt Pisgah, there’s an increase in the stability of water pressure and capacity, solving a long standing issue as part of this project..   and while many will agree that the water in McKensie Pond served the needs of village residents well (forgive the pun, now it’s actually 2 wells) for 100 years and arguably may have been able to handle the water supply for another century, but when you put the expense in perspective, Community Development Director Jeremy Evan’s tells us, there may be a silver lining in all of this

 The magnitude of the work underneath the pavement inSaranacLakeis difficult to fathom, especially when it resides under newly paved roads.. the final piece of the puzzle marking the end of construction. The Two wells are installed; Huge pipes lead into the pump house where walls of electronic components designed to manage everything from chlorine injection, to water flow and so many more measurements by the computers that it would be difficult for a full time staff of 4 to keep similar records without the aid of the computers. Needless to say, for $12.5 million, the Village of Saranac Lake has definitely gotten its money’s worth.  

Our tour begins today heading past the piping installed under the river which connects the new facility to the new storage tank on Mt Pisgah.. Again – the property is in pristine condition, even the pumpkin patch where employees are growing pumpkins for the fall celebration are in perfect alignment…

From here we head down the road a little further – there’s a row of trees, marking the transition between the old and the new…

Kevin Pratt is the chief Operator of the Wastewater Treatment Plant, he is also currently the interim DPW Superintendant, he shares duties with supervisor of the plant, Dave Lewis who is the newest 4-A operator, Robert Durfee, Craig Catalano and Preston Darrah. The crew spends their time primarily at the wastewater treatment plant, Robert is doing double duty these days…  He’s also operating the water plant on the village’s new well site. As for McKensie Pond, they’ll keep it in operable condition so that if there’s an emergency situation, they can feed the system with the pond acting as a backup facility to the wells.

As we come around the corner of the new control building for the well water, there is a very clean ramp angling down into a special drain, It’s part of the delivery system for the chlorine and any additional chemicals which may be required in the future.. now there’s bureaucracy for you… The ramp is double sided… down to the drain and then back up the other side – big enough for a very big truck to make it’s deliveries…  It’s kind of like a really big bathtub for trucks and the drain is smack dab in the middle.. and all this because there might be a chemical spill one day and the chlorine, although good for the water in small doses apparently not good if it falls off a truck during delivery. I have to say it was a bit of a distraction on the tour, especially since we were just about finished. The building – state of the art – The Technology – state of the art – and the chemical loading dock – at least 20 years ahead of state of the art – in this case, the perfect example of state agencies run amuck in the defense of what maybe, could be, perhaps another example, for that small 1 in 1 billionth of a chance that a hose might spring a leak during the re-filling procedure and lose a gallon of Chlorine…  Needless to say – There’s nothing like good water and this is going to be good water!  In addition, Village Manager John Sweeney says this upgrade allows much more data to be collected..

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