As part of a joint effort known as Project Seneca, a new, $32 million-dollar regional wastewater treatment plant, the Catharine Valley Water Reclamation Facility (CVWRF), is up and running – and a virtual tour is available for the public to get a glimpse at the state-of-the-art technology and infrastructure that now serves the villages of Watkins Glen and Montour Falls, NY.
Since the 1960s, both villages operated separate wastewater treatment plants, both of which were located on prime waterfront property and were unable to comply with modern discharge limits due to treatment limitations and aging components. Both facilities were negatively impacting water quality in Seneca Lake; these negative effects combined with the capacity limitations of aging wastewater infrastructure serving the region was greatly limiting the economic growth and potential for the area.
Taking a first-of-its-kind regional approach, local officials created the Watkins-Montour Regional Wastewater System, which would eliminate redundancies in facilities and staff across the two communities and allow for a more-cost effective and efficient solution. Now, after nine years of incredible engineering and spirited collaboration, the CVWRF was commissioned in July 2020.
The project consisted of constructing the new CVWRF on an undeveloped piece of property between the communities, constructing two new raw wastewater pump stations adjacent to each previous wastewater treatment facility site, and connecting the pump stations to the regional treatment facility with force mains. With a design flow of 1.2 million gallons per day, the facility consists of two metal buildings housing treatment infrastructure, a large precast concrete tank complex that houses an automated sequencing batch reactor as the heart of the treatment process, and an extensive operations and maintenance facility. The treatment process utilizes effluent cloth media filtration and UV disinfection to provide enhanced treatment. An advanced SCADA control system is utilized to control and monitor the treatment system and optimize operation.
The CVWRF serves approximately 1,500 residential properties and 300 non-residential properties and has capacity to support significant regional growth. The state-of-the-art treatment process has greatly increased overall pollutant capture, including a reduction of more than 12,000 lbs per year of algae-bloom forming phosphorus.
LDG led the project, providing third-party review, value engineering, operation and start-up services, as well as construction administration and inspection services for the regional project. LDG provided guidance during the final stages of the permitting process, evaluated alternative approaches to reduce costs and achieve compliance within the bounds of wildlife permits. This prevented a nine-month delay and restored the project’s budget. To bridge a budget gap realized after initial construction bids were received, LDG helped the client secure an additional $1 million grant award.
LDG administered nine construction contracts, provided construction inspection and helped coordinate the rebid of two contracts for the Montour Falls pump station and force main. The firm also scanned the facilities in 3D to generate an as-built model and accurate record drawings and created a detailed asset management plan supporting financial planning and life-cycle costs.
“From coordinating with multiple regulatory and funding agencies, to managing eight concurrent construction contracts, to keeping all project and community stakeholders informed, communication was key for the success of this project. It was great to see both Villages work together to deliver this regional approach,” said LDG’s Brad Sick, who served as project manager.
Founded in 1986, Larson Design Group is an award-winning national architecture, engineering and consulting firm with 12 offices in five states and a vision to elevate client relationships, enrich the careers and lives of its employee-owners, and enhance the communities in which it operates. For more information, visit www.larsondesigngroup.com.
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