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WASTEWATER TREATMENT PLANT
Colorito, WWTP Supervisor
Employees, Mark Trombetta, Gene Colorito, supervisor, Fred Campione)
The St. Johnsville Wastewater Treatment Plant has been in operation since December 1973. This system alleviates pollution and potential health menaces caused by discharge by the Village of untreated sewage into the Mohawk River and Barge Canal. The St. Johnsville Wastewater Treatment Plant construction expense of $2,120,000.00 was shared by grants from the state and federal governments with the Village of St. Johnsville financing the remainder of the balance.
The St. Johnsville Wastewater Treatment Plant's design capacity included the former Palatine Dye Industries daily discharge as well as the Village's domestic flow. The design of the wastewater plant capacity was much larger due to incorporating Palatine Dye industrial discharge into the initial design plans. Consequently, the Village of St. Johnsville has a relatively large wastewater treatment plant that is an asset in itself. The wastewater treatment plant has the capacity to handle any future industrial expansion by the present industries that are located in the Village or for any new industries that may wish to locate here in the future.
The St. Johnsville Wastewater Treatment Plant treats all domestic and industrial sewage from the Village. The sanitary sewer system is separated for the most part from the storm sewers throughout the Village. Storm water is routed directly into area streams or the Mohawk River. Raw or untreated sewage from the Village flows by gravity through the existing 15 -inch and 18-inch sewer lines into the lower influent building. There the mechanically -cleaned barscreen removes large-size rags, paper, sticks, and miscellaneous items thrown into the sanitary drain system.
Sewage is moved to the upper influent building by two screw pumps. The sewage will flow by gravity through the rest of the plant and into the Mohawk River after being treated. The sewage enters the grit separator that removes grit and other inorganic materials by settling. Liquid wastes containing organic and soluble materials then flow over a weir and through a channel to the comminutor, which shreds solids left in the flow in the same manner as a large garbage grinder.
Flow continues into the four aeration tanks. Each aeration tank has an aerator that consists of a vaned disc rotated at high or low speed by a 50-hp motor. The aerator stirs the entire tank contents introducing oxygen into the liquid waste. Oxygen is required by the microorganisms, which remove the organic material from the sewage in the aeration tank. Active bacteria from secondary settling tanks are returned to these tanks to keep the system in balance. The aerated liquid waste flows over a weir and is channeled to the diversion box.
Flow from the diversion box goes to the secondary clarifiers, where solids settle by gravity. Settled solids are continuously removed by hydraulic pressure through six sludge collectors in each clarifier. This sludge is recirculated to the aeration tanks, or wasted, as necessary. Sludge not going through the hydraulic collectors is scraped into a hopper at the bottom of the clarifier, drawn by telescopic sludge valves, and returned to the plant influent. Secondary clarifiers are, also, equipped with mechanical skimmers to remove any floating solids on the liquid surface.
After settling in the secondary clarifier, sewage flows directly through the Parshall Flume. This flume is a measuring device. Levels of flow, indicated by a signal emitted by a transducer, are converted into electrical signals actuating a flow recording device in the control panel.
Flow passes through the Parshall Flume and chlorine is added for disinfection in the turbulence of the flume outlet. The chlorinated liquid then flows into the chlorine contact tanks. During passage through the two chorine contact tanks, baffles slow the liquid flow in order to allow time for the chlorine to mix with the effluent before it flows over the weir, through piping into the Mohawk River. The Chlorination Building houses two chlorinators that feed the chlorine solution into the plant effluent. The scale in the chlorination building can accommodate two-ton cylinders of chlorine.
The Control Building at the wastewater treatment plant allows the operator to keep a careful check on plant operation by observing flow records and performing laboratory tests required by the State Department of Environmental Conservation and the Federal Protection Agency. Records are maintained of all plant operations. The Control building houses the main office, control room, laboratory, lavatory, lunchroom, control room, chemical storage room, floatation and vacuum filter rooms. Sludge processing was once done in the back rooms of the control building. The flotation thickener and vacuum filter were used to thicken and dry waste sludge for landfill burial. In 1992 waste sludge was stored in two of the four aeration tanks for 6 or more months. The sludge was stabilized by aerobic digestion and decanted. The liquid sludge that was concentrated to two or three percent solids was pumped into an 8000-gallon tank truck and injected on D.E.C. permitted farmland owned by one of the local farmers. In 1996 the sludge that was gravity thickened in the empty aerators, was pumped into 8500- gallon tank trucks and hauled to the Watertown Incinerator for incineration. This is still the practice at the present time for removal of waste sludge at the St. Johnsville Wastewater Treatment Plant. By eliminating the use of the two pieces of sludge processing equipment in the back of the control building a substantial savings has been made on the electrical consumption and process chemical use at the St. Johnsville Wastewater Treatment Plant.
Two licensed operators man the St. Johnsville Wastewater Treatment plant. The plant is covered for 8 hours a day Monday through Friday. The wastewater plant is checked twice a day on weekends and holidays. The New York State Department of Conservation requires that an operator be on the premises at least 2 hours a day. The wastewater plant is covered by an alarm system that will sense a power failure, increase of heat or noise in the control room and automatically notify operators at their homes by telephone if an alarm condition exists.
A partial renovation of the pumping facilities and aeration system at the St. Johnsville Wastewater Treatment Plant is in its planning stage at present time. A new influent pump house and diffused aeration system will be put on line at the plant within the next two years. The proposed renovations will improve the wastewater treatment plant process and lower monthly electric bills.
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