Some Oneida County residents are going to see some major sewer work done soon, but everyone in the Oneida County Sewer District will be footing the $180 million tab. Our Andrew Sorensen explains the decade-long project to rehabilitate Oneida County sewers starting next week
UTICA, N.Y. -- The Oneida County Sewer District treatment plant handles about 30 million gallons of water a day, but that's not all the wastewater coming their way.
For years, many of the county's sewers having been leaking. The district is finally starting a major project to fix them next week.
"This project is a little part of basically $180 million worth of upgrades and rehabilitations to the sewer," Water Quality and Water Pollution Control Commissioner Steven Devan said.
The sewers aren't leaking water out. They are actually leaking water in and when the system can't handle the water, it dumps that water into the Mohawk River.
"That does happen on occasion in very wet weather," Devan said.
The pollution the dumping caused spurred a 2007 DEC mandate for them to fix the flaw and clean up the river. From the 15th until the end of the year, Devan says his crews will be carrying out phase one: Making a sewer within a sewer.
"It's basically like a felt sock soaked in a resin. And they feed that down the pipe and they blow it up and they cure it with steam," he explained.
It should require less repairs, be more cost effective and cause less disruption than replacing the whole sewer. But the next nine years are filled with other rehabilitation work.
"We're in the planning stages on a lot of it," Devan said. "We're doing manhole rehabilitation work that's underway, this is the first round sewer rehabilitation work, we're doing some sewer separation work."
In the end, officials say the system will be far more efficient and safer.
Unfortunately, with little county and municipal money headed their way, the project will likely come out of your pocket.
"At this point, we're not seeing a lot of grants. We're going to try for them, but it'll end up being paid by the users of the system," said Devan.
They don't have specifics on how much the rates will change, but they hope county, or perhaps federal money will help bring down the cost.
You can find their tentative schedule, as well as tips, at sewerrehabocsd.org .