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County Executive Press Releases

Posted on: February 7, 2022

RENSSELAER COUNTY SEWER DISTRICT AWARDED $8.7M NYS GRANT

Legislature Applied for Funding for Improvements that will Protect the Hudson River

Legislature Applied for Funding for Improvements that will Protect the Hudson River            

Chairwoman of the Legislature Kelly Hoffman is proud to announce that the Rensselaer County Sewer District has been awarded a NYS Water Quality Improvement Program (WQIP) of $8,731,000. The funding will be used to make major infrastructure upgrades at the plant that have been in the planning stages for some time.

“These improvements will replace old and obsolete equipment that will save energy, increase capacity, and help to keep overflow of storm water and waste out of the Hudson River”, said Chairwoman Kelly Hoffman- North Greenbush.

The WQIP funding was part of Round XI of the Regional Economic Development Council Awards Funding of $272 million for 179 projects to update aging water infrastructure, combat harmful algal blooms, protect drinking water, and prevent potential contamination.

“Our wastewater treatment plant was built in 1974, and we have made over $80 million in improvements over the last 15 years to improve efficiency, and to comply with changing NYS regulations. However, there is still original equipment that is used around the clock that will be replaced with this grant funding”, said Vice Chair Bob Loveridge- East Schodack.

The treatment plant operates several large outdoor aeration tanks with large electrical motors that operate 24/7. These motors are original to the plant and have been repaired many times, but parts are no longer available. 

“Our aeration project will replace the original blower motors from the 1970’s, with more energy efficient motors sourced from New York State. Our unused aeration tanks will be converted to store combined sewer overflow for treatment, rather than bypassing treatment and discharging it into the Hudson River. This project will use less energy and protect the Hudson River”, said Chair of Finance Rob Bayly- Poestenkill.

The treatment plant has completed several costly projects in recent years. Several of the projects were part of the NYS DEC Consent Order signed by the six communities that make up the Albany Pool Communities (Albany, Troy, Rensselaer, Cohoes, Watervliet, and Green Island) and the Albany and Rensselaer County Sewer Districts. This grant will help complete another Consent Order project, mandated by New York State.

"Rensselaer County has seen very positive growth in terms of job creation, record sales tax revenue and new investment, thanks in part to our record of reducing county property taxes each of the past four years. The county Sewer District facilities perform an important role in supporting that growth, along with maintaining important health and quality of life services across the county. This grant is very good news and we congratulate the County Legislature on their work to secure funding," said County Executive Steve McLaughlin.

Investment in the Rensselaer County Sewer System has been an economic driver for Rensselaer County. In 2013, the sewer system was connected to Regeneron in East Greenbush after a major investment from the Legislature. That connection kept Regeneron in East Greenbush and allowed the growth we see today.

“The around the clock operation of our wastewater treatment plant is a critical function of our County, our residents and businesses depend on it. Mechanical failures or power failures could adversely impact our treatment process and our responsibility to keep untreated waste out of the Hudson River. We have put together a great plan to improve the plant operation and install a new backup generator that will power the entire plant in the event of a power failure. We are thrilled that New York State, and Governor Kathy Hochul,  have awarded us the funding to get this important project going this year”, added Chairwoman Kelly Hoffman.

The Legislature will vote to accept the grant and establish project accounts at its Tuesday, February 8th meeting. 

The grant application was made under the direction of the Legislature with technical assistance from Erin Moore of Tighe and Bond and Acting Administrative Director of the Sewer District Derrick Gardner.

Information about the Wastewater Treatment Plant: 

The primary function of the Rensselaer County Sewer District is to protect the Hudson River by providing secondary treatment to the wastewater before it is discharged. Rensselaer County Sewer District provides services to residents in Troy, Rensselaer, North Greenbush, Brunswick, Sand Lake and Schaghticoke. The system was designed to treat 24 million gallons a day, but has a peak capacity of 63.5 million gallons a day. The current wastewater treatment plant was designed and built in the early 1970’s and began operation in 1976. While many systems have been upgraded, there is still a lot of equipment that is original to the plant.

The RSCD Wastewater Treatment Plant is located on the banks of the Hudson River, on Water Street, South of the Menands Bridge, in the Town of North Greenbush.

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