Gowanda village board hears of sewer violations

GOWANDA – The Gowanda sewer plant was cited with violations from the Department of Environmental Conservation that could mean hefty fines for the village. Sam Lauer, sewer department operator, attended a recent village board meeting to explain the violations.

The wastewater treatment plant was inspected in February of this year and Lauer said the village received a letter at the end of July. The village was given 30 days to rectify the problems or be faced with a $37,500 per day fine.

According to Lauer, the treatment plant needs to have a more detailed site map to be utilized by first responders. The other violation Lauer addressed was a containment area when delivering ferric chloride. The chemical is required by New York state for removal of phosphates in wastewater. Lauer explained the area where the chemical is delivered by truck needs to have a containment area in case of spills.

“The main thing is for the actual truck itself when they offload the ferric … That’s the biggest issue and it will probably involve some sort of construction,” Lauer said.

Village Engineer Mark Burr explained the village can hire an outside engineering firm and that will show the NYS DEC the village is working to correct the problem. Lauer said the village received two bids for site plan and design, Wendl and Benchmark.

“By selecting an engineer and saying we’re developing a plan to move forward … The DEC fully understands you just don’t scratch this down on a napkin and you’re done tomorrow. It takes some time. It certainly gives you the relief from DEC timewise, but it also commits you to follow through with the project … At the end of the day that’s what they want you to do …,” Burr said.

The village board approved an estimate of $6,900 from Benchmark which includes a five-year inspection.

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