Industrial use of sewer plant rises

JOHNSTOWN – Industrial use of the Gloversville-Johnstown Wastewater Treatment Facility in 2013 was at its highest rate in 14 years, mainly due to Fage USA, the sewer plant’s largest customer.

Sewer use for last year was detailed in the facility’s 2013 annual report. Facility Wastewater engineer Tyler Masick gave a presentation on the report to the Gloversville-Johnstown Joint Sewer Board on Wednesday at the sewer plant.

Masick reported industrial use, or industrial loadings, at the sewage treatment plant in 2013 was at its highest level in 14 years.

“It’s nice to see the [cities] kind of bouncing back after the depression of the leather industry leaving town,” Masick said. “It’s kind of nice to see industry is doing well. It’s good for the economy and it’s good for the cities.”

The report said overall industrial use at the facility via the sanitary sewer system indicated a 4.2 percent increase in 2013, compared to 2012.

Masick said the number one industrial user of the sewer plant continued to be yogurt-maker Fage USA at the Johnstown Industrial Park, followed by cheese-maker Euphrates Inc., also at the park. These two food processors combined were the largest category discharger to the sewer facility, representing over 41.6 percent of the overall revenue collected. Fage provided nearly $1.4 million in revenue, followed by nearly $300,000 for Euphrates.

Other top 10 customers of the sewer plant in 2013 were: third – Colonial Tanning; fourth – various septic haulers; fifth – Fulton County Landfill; sixth – National Grid; seventh – Hale Creek State Correctional Facility; eighth – Simco Leather; ninth – Hudson Dye; and 10th – various municipal contracts.

Elsewhere in the report, Masick said the sewer plant had a total of seven state Department of Environmental Conservation license holders last year.

He said the facility completed many new projects last year, including having a new sludge pump installed.

“We had 333 separate work orders completed in 2013,” Masick said.

In-house, the facility constructed a concrete ash bunker last year, which he said “worked out very well for us.”

“Grant management by the administrative staff was once again a major part of office activities during 2013,” the report said.

Masick stated a second round of grants continued with the facility’s major upgrade project. Included were a $750,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development and a $500,000 National Grid grant that were obtained.

The sewer plant issued 22 industrial permits last year. One of the existing permits for Carville National Leather Corp. was relinquished because the business closed last August, Masick said.

There were 24 violations reported to industry in 2013, compared to 29 reported in 2012. The most, nine, were for chromium violations.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at