March 9, 2013


Dryden upgrading water system

Village seeking state grants for roughly $9 million project

DrydenBob Ellis/staff photographer
The Lee Road water reservoir for the village of Dryden, pictured Wednesday. The village is looking to upgrade the structure as part of an approximately $9 million project that will also replace a water tank on Ferguson Road and build a central treatment facility.

Staff Reporter

DRYDEN — The Village Board has applied for state funding for an $8.4 million project to replace the tanks and treatment equipment of its water system, which has been cited as insufficient many times by the Tompkins County Health Department.
The board voted in January to bond for $9 million for the project, which would replace the Lee Road Reservoir with a tank and replace the Ferguson Road tank.
Health officials have cited arsenic levels in the water from village wells that exceed state standards. The village’s engineering firm, Rochester-based MRB Group, has recommended building a central treatment facility.
Village officials said the Lee Road Reservoir has been cited for health violations and the Ferguson Road water tank has not, but should be replaced now.
A central treatment facility would be constructed for $1.8 million.
The project was planned by MRB Group following an evaluation of the water system in 2010. The system consists of four wells, two water storage facilities and a distribution system. It serves the village, some town of Dryden residents and Tompkins Cortland Community College.
The engineers originally developed the project in two parts, one for $6.4 million that covers the Lee Road Reservoir and one for $1.95 million that covers the tank on Ferguson Road. The split was intended to make it easier to apply for financing. But MRB Group has now recommended completing the entire project at once.
Village Clerk/Treasurer Debra Marrotte said the village has applied to the state Environmental Facilities Corp., which offers funding of different kinds to municipalities seeking to improve their water systems.
MRB Group’s study said the system does not have enough supply for the population, lacks adequate chlorine treatment, has deteriorating storage facilities and has undersized, aging water mains, as well as zones of low system pressure.
Low water pressure and narrow mains affect firefighters’ capability of using water in fighting fires.
The project proposal was developed with input from the Tompkins County Health Department and has been submitted to the state Health Department’s Bureau of Water Supply Protection, according to the engineers.
The Village Board has conducted an environmental impact review.
The Lee Road Reservoir has a capacity of 600,000 gallons and is contained in an area measuring 115 by 115 feet with a metal-sided cover structure over it. Its problems are cracking in the concrete lining, poor condition of its cover structure and possible security risks due to being close to TC3’s residence halls.
The Ferguson Road tank has a capacity of 300,000 gallons. It is about 40 feet tall, with a concrete cover and wood shingle roof, surrounded by earthen fill, according to MRB Group’s report. Its problems are the poor condition of roof leading and periodic overflows due to inadequate system control, the report said.
A well on South Street is 176 feet deep and has a pump, installed in 2009. A second well is on Jay Street and is 72 feet deep; its water was found to have problems during inspections in 2011 and 2012. The other two wells are on Lake Road and are 51 and 46 feet deep.


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