N.Y. wastewater treatment plant back online after Sandy-related shutdown

N.Y. wastewater treatment plant back online after Sandy-related shutdown
Water surrounds Kingston's wastewater treatment plant after Hurricane Sandy passes through. (Photo by Kyle Wind)

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The Kingston, N.Y., wastewater treatment plant was offline for several hours early last week due to flooding and an electrical problem.

Kingston Alderman-at-Large James Noble, the city’s acting mayor while Shayne Gallo is on vacation, said the plant ceased operations at about 1:30 a.m. on Tuesday after the Rondout Creek, along which the plant sits, overflowed its banks and 7-foot-high berms around the plant. The breach occurred as Hurricane Sandy was making its way across the region.

The water from the creek was pumped out of the plant, and the facility returned to normal operation about two hours later. Shortly after that, however, a transformer that also was flooded blew out, causing the plant to malfunction again, Noble said.

George Cacchio, president of Pollution Control, Inc., which runs the plant, said the power was restored about 10:30 a.m. and “everything is moving now.” 

The disruption in the plant’s operation meant untreated solid waste was going directly into the creek, Noble said. He didn’t know how much untreated waste had gone into the creek.

“Diluted waste has gone into the Rondout, so environmentally, it wasn’t good,” Cacchio said. “But we’ve got it up and running now with the emergency generator. Central Hudson is working on putting in the new transformer. So now the cleanup starts.”

Other than the flooding along the Rondout, Noble said, the city did not experience any serious damage from Sandy.

“We are getting back to normal,” he said. 

This article and video was posted with permission from the Daily Freeman newspaper.



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