Poughkeepsies’ Water Treatment Facility Will Get Upgrades

Working under a joint agreement, the City of Poughkeepsie and Town of Poughkeepsie own and operate the Poughkeepsies’ Water Treatment Facility, and they are continuing to make significant improvements to the plant.

The two municipalities are moving forward with an approximate $4.5 million project that will replace the facility’s UV disinfection equipment that helps to purify the water originating from the Hudson River.

Poughkeepsie Mayor Rob Rolison said, “We have spent millions of dollars on making sure the water that we take from the Hudson River is safe to drink. Working with other municipalities, we are taking more steps to protect the water at its source.  But the plant’s operation is imperative as well.”

Town of Poughkeepsie Supervisor Jon Baisley said, “The town is committed to doing its part to keep the plant operating in a safe and effective manner. These upgrades are part of larger commitment the Town and City have made to improve the water treatment facility.”

The city will put $2.5 million toward the project; the town will pay approximately $2 million.

The project is expected to begin in the fall and will take approximately two years to complete.

Poughkeepsies’ Joint Water Board has recommended certain improvements to the facility, including replacement of UV disinfection equipment.

“Ultraviolet water purification is our primary method for disinfecting pathogens from the water,” said Randy J. Alstadt, administrator of the Water Treatment Facility. “This is yet another major investment in our facility, to the betterment of our drinking water system.  The replacement is necessary because the manufacturer no longer supports the equipment. The new design is projected to save $90,000 annually in electric costs.”

The water treatment plant is located within the Marist College campus on property co-owned by the city and the town. The city has hired the engineering and environmental consulting firm Tighe & Bond as engineers for the project and is working with its state partners to identify grants that could help defray the costs of the upgrades.

 Over the past two decades, the city and town have spent approximately $40 million to improve the plant.

What’s in My Water? – Emerging Contaminants in New York’s Drinking Water Systems

As part of the Safe Drinking Water Act, Congress enacted a federal law that requires EPA to establish a list of unregulated contaminates that are not part of current regulatory testing every five years. In response, EPA published a monitoring rule entitled Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR) which requires Public Water Utilities serving more than 10,000 people to perform testing. The UCMR testing assists the EPA in determining the occurrence of suspected contaminants in drinking water and whether regulation is required. The contaminants in UCMR testing are not regulated by the EPA or state and therefore do not currently have set drinking water standards. It is important to note that the presence of contaminants does not necessarily indicate there is a public health risk.

In May of 2019, the New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG) published a report titled “What’s in My Water?: Emerging Contaminants in New York’s Drinking Water Systems”. This report summarized the results of testing performed between 2013 and 2015 by NYS Public Water Utilities serving more than 10,000 people to comply with the EPA’s Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR).

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Response to July 2018 Combined Sewage Overflow

Response to July 2018 Combined Sewage Overflow

Earlier this week there was a combined storm water/sewage overflow into the Hudson River roughly 2 miles downstream of our drinking water treatment facility.  Upon the occurrence the City of Poughkeepsie notified DEC through NY Alert.  Monitoring at the treatment facility did not identify any impact to our water supply. Continue reading