Water Treatment Plant Expansion Moves Forward

As Pawling continues to grow, the need for updated and higher capacity sewage facilities is paramount. To satisfy the community’s increasing needs, officials are pleased to report that the expansion of Pawling’s wastewater treatment facility has been making strides forward. The planning and design of the installation has been in the works for more than a decade, and the project is finally coming to fruition.

Located at 37 Corbin Road, the original wastewater treatment plant was built in 1983 and was given a life expectancy of thirty years. “This project was needed,” says Dan Peters, Chairman of the Pawling Joint Sewer Commission (PJSC). “The other plant had lived its natural life.”

Plans for a new design and upgrade to the plant began in 2005 and remained ongoing for more than a decade. Construction on the upgrades to the facility began six months ago, and officials plan to begin switching service to the new plant in May. “It was a matter of driving it, funding it, and getting it done, which we’ve accomplished,” adds Peters. “It’s an important asset to the community, and for the environment.”

The new wastewater treatment facility is not only higher capacity, but also environmentally state of the art. “The design of the treatment process removes everything that is called for,” says Peters. “Right now, the plant is not functioning at a level that is acceptable. The new plant will exceed expectations. And the goal is for the facility to service the community for the next forty or fifty years.”

The plant’s new belt press alone has already greatly reduced the cost associated with sludge removal from the facility. Currently, the site operates at a capacity of 320,000 gallons per day. The new facility will operate with a capacity of 750,000 gallons per day once the project is completed. The new plant will also allow for expanded service areas to accommodate more customers.

The biggest hurdle to completing the upgrade was raising the necessary funds. To this end, officials secured a number of grants that were instrumental in moving the project along. $10.6 million for the project was bonded through the New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation (EFC), which provides low cost financing for water quality infrastructure projects. An additional $3.3 million grant was provided by the EFC, as well as $500,000 from Dutchess County, secured by County Executive Marcus Molinaro, and a $500,000 New York DASNY Grant, secured by State Senator Terrence Murphy, that financed the facility’s new belt press. In addition, the completion of an income survey qualified the project for 0% financing. “We continue to look for money to fund the project, and we’ll be applying for another round of grants by the end of the year,” explains Peters. “We’re not going to sleep on it.”

Now that the wastewater treatment facility upgrade is moving forward, officials can finally see the results of years of effort and devotion to the project. “The Pawling Joint Sewer Commission has been the driving force behind this, but also the Mayor, the Supervisor, and the other commissioners as well,” says Peters. “Everyone worked diligently to bring this to fruition. This has been in the works for a long time.”

Currently, officials are confident that the new facility will be completely operational by 2020.