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By Douglas Sciorra

Water Pollution Control Plant UV Disinfection System Comes Online: Phase 1a Completed

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Mayor Buckley: “It is vital that we continue to invest in our infrastructure”

The City of Hornell is proud to announce the successful completion of the Ultraviolet (UV) disinfection system installation at the Water Pollution Control Plant (WPCP) in September. The launch of the UV disinfection system marks the completion of Phase 1a, which is part of over six-million dollars in total upgrades at the WPCP in a two-phase project.

WPCP Chief Operator Richard Dunning reviewed the improvements to the plant, “Previously, the water that entered the Canisteo River was 90% to 95% cleaner than when it arrived at the facility, but some viruses and pathogens remained in the wastewater.  The United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) have mandated that we build and maintain a disinfection system to render any remaining pathogens harmless before they enter the river.”

Dunning further explained the benefits of the UV technology, “The UV light exposure renders pathogens unable to reproduce or infect people or organisms downstream. This will benefit any downstream neighbors by irradiating the remaining bacteria at the end of our treatment process.”  The City of Hornell WPCP is part of the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

In addition to the installation of the UV disinfection system, Phase 1a also included new piping, valves, and improvements to the electrical and process control system.  The City of Hornell was grateful to receive a Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) Grant of one million dollars towards the UV disinfection project, with local share funding covering the remaining costs.

Mayor John Buckley expressed his appreciation for the grant funding and touched on the importance of these project investments, “We have been very fortunate to obtain grant money to help offset the costs of these upgrades. We received the WQIP grant for Phase 1a, and were awarded $1.83 million in a WIAA grant, and $1.25 million in CDBG Funding for Phase 1b. Altogether, these grant funds amount to about half of our total investment.”

“While I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: It’s easy to take our Water and Wastewater Systems for granted; they often operate without a second thought, but are essential to our City. It is vital that we continue to invest in our infrastructure, and our water and sewer plants are high on that list. We are continuously working to keep them operational and in compliance with regulations,” continued Mayor Buckley.

Plant operators continue training with developers on the new UV disinfection system. Looking towards the future and gathering information for Phase 1b Chief Operator Dunning noted, “We have traveled all over the state looking at other plants and talking to other operators about the equipment they have chosen for their facilities.  We are looking into the newest technologies with an eye toward acquiring equipment that will last over the next 20 to 30 years, and allow the City to continue to maintain the WPCP as economically as possible.”

The City of Hornell has partnered with LaBella Associates for Administration Services on these projects and is hopeful that Phase 1b will go out for bid before the end of the year.

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