Sewer plant praised by group

JOHNSTOWN – A recent publication aimed at federal legislators by the nation’s top wastewater lobbying organization touted various agencies planning well for the future, including the Gloversville-Johnstown Wastewater Treatment Facility.

Facility consultant George Bevington on Wednesday informed the Gloversville-Johnstown Joint Sewer Board of the plant’s mention in a recent publication by the Washington D.C.-based National Association of Clean Water Agencies, or NACWA.

“What’s neat about this is they’re talking about this [facility] as the utility of the future and how to get there,” Bevington said Thursday.

The publication cited the local sewer plant as the type of facility whose activities “if realized on a national scale would have profound benefits to the economy, the environment and public health.”

The publication titled, “Water Resources – Utility of the Future: A Blueprint for Action,” highlights ways agencies can transform the way water services are delivered, 40 years after passage of the federal Clean Water Act.

The publication noted the Gloversville-Johnstown Wastewater Treatment Facility serves 25,000 residents and several industries, generating “90 percent of its energy needs in its anaerobic digester processing biosolids from the plant plus local dairy wastes.”

“It saves $500,000 a year in energy costs and nets $750,000 a year in additional revenue from dairy waste acceptance fees,” the publication said.

The mention related to large sewer plant customers such as Fage USA and Euphrates Inc. at the Johnstown Industrial Park.

“NACWA is kind of the umbrella organization over all the water and wastewater associations out there,” Bevington said.

He said the organization develops policy and lobbies as an advocate on behalf of such associations.

The NACWA website, where the report can be found, said work on the document began in September.

“This blueprint was placed on a fast-track for finalization to ensure that utility of the future issues are front and center as the 113th Congress and [Obama] Administration develop their environmental priorities,” the website stated. “The audience for this blueprint, however, is broader than just federal policy-makers and includes local utility managers, private sector interests, state and local governments, and many others within the clean water, drinking water, energy and agricultural communities.”