SILVER CREEK - The New York State Department of Envir-onmental Conservation (DEC) was on hand recently to meet with the Silver Creek Village Board concerning its sewer system.
Engineers and the regional attorney for the DEC sat down with the board and members of the village's water/sewer and highway departments to discuss a schedule for updates to be made to the sewer system.
Regional Water Engineer Jeffrey Konsella warned after several years of violations enforcement action is coming down the pipe.
He said this voluntary agreement would set up a schedule for improvements to be completed to get the village into compliance and if followed would help the village avoid fines for the violations.
"No one wants to get to the point where we have to have an order. We don't want to be here, you don't want to be here, but we have to not only for New York state but also the EPA is big brother, quite frankly, and when you have a cyclical pattern of non-compliance like you're in, you have their attention and the only way to get out from under their attention is to use a mechanism like this," he said.
Konsella encouraged the village to apply for EFC funding, but the deadline is fast approaching in mid-August.
The board showed the engineers the recently completed inflow and infiltration (I&I) plan put together by GHD Engineering and explained it has several plans in the works already.
"Knowing that we had an issue, we worked with GHD to figure out our I&I problem and where we think most of the problem is coming from. Dave Rowlinson from GHD did a study and gave us a map of our village where we think the highest offending areas are. He gave us an estimate of what it would cost to clean and reline the pipes in those areas and he also gave us an estimate to replace all of the pipes in those areas. ... So, the board is aware this is an issue and we are trying to work on it," Trustee Amy Romanik explained.
Konsella said the schedule would accommodate short-term and long-term goals, like fixing the I&I problems and fixing the system as a whole.
The board also mentioned it has plans to make upgrades in the sewer plant to make it more efficient with the help of Wendel Energy Services.
Trustee Nick Piccolo asked if the village would be fined if it did not reach a deadline but was making good progress.
Konsella said the DEC can be flexible if progress is being made and extensions are possible.
Mayor Kurt Lindstrom asked if GHD engineers could look at the schedule before they approved the agreement and said if there are no issues the board will approve the schedule agreement at the next village board meeting Aug. 6.
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