Unusual foam found at plant

JOHNSTOWN – Large amounts of foam are mysteriously showing up at the Gloversville-Johnstown Wastewater Treatment Facility and plant operators can’t pinpoint its origin.

Wastewater Engineer Tyler Masick reported to the Gloversville-Johnstown Joint Sewer Board recently that a “significant amount of foam” has come to the sewage treatment plant on Union Avenue the past one-to-two months.

“We’re trying to reach out to industries to see if there has been any changes in the processes,” he said.

Masick said the facility has called all its business users, but still doesn’t have an answer. In fact, he said the plant has had only three responses to its inquiries. Feedback came from Nathan Littauer Hospital, National Grid and Fage USA.

In other plant operation business, Masick said a new whey line connecting Johnstown Industrial Park cheese manufacturer Euphrates Inc. to the sewer plant force main is now operational. He said a typical transaction will involve treating 20,000 gallons per day. The sewer board in November approved a new 10-year whey pretreatment contract with Euphrates.

Euphrates is paying 2 1/2 cents per gallon. The company used to transport its whey by truck to the sewer plant.

“It’s good to see them in that pipeline,” Masick said. “It’s been a good deal.”

Masick reported on the facility’s dual-phase main trunk line upgrade project. The 50-year-old main trunk line runs four miles southward from Harrison Street in Gloversville to the sewage treatment plant on Union Avenue in Johnstown.

For the first phase, Masick said manholes were replaced and the majority of the work was done, including completion of a liner. A few final grading issues will wait until spring, he said. Bid openings for the second phase of work, including near Townsend Avenue, will be March 5.

The sewer plant received delivery of its new Chevy Volt from Mangino Chevrolet in Amsterdam. The blue gas-electric car has a decal along the side that reads, “Gloversville-Johnstown – Wastewater to Energy.”

Masick said staff made a round trip to Syracuse using only three-quarters of the vehicle’s 10-to-12-gallon tank.

He also reported on municipal cooperation with the city of Johnstown. He said the city needed a driver and dump truck to help haul dirt from the Fulton County Landfill to the former Karg Bros. tannery site. The city is working with the state to clean up the six-acre North Perry Street site for eventual reuse. The city is receiving help from the county, which is contributing 17,000 cubic yards of dirt for the site.

Masick said the city provides the sewer plant a sand-salt mixture as part of such municipal exchanges.