City OKs water filter replacement contract

JOHNSTOWN – The Common Council recently authorized a $273,000 agreement with a St. Johnsville construction firm to replace two worn out filters at the city’s Cork Center Water Treatment Plant.

The resolution approved at a special council meeting at City Hall allowed Mayor Michael Julius to sign an agreement with Jablonski Excavating Inc. for a filter media replacement project at the Cork Center reservoir. The company was the low bidder for the project from sealed bids opened April 9.

C.T. Male Associates of Latham, the city Water Board’s project consultant, previously recommended the board accept the Jablonski bid. The board accepted the bid April 14 and passed it on to the council for its final contractual approval.

“We have slow sand filtration,” Water Department Senior Plant Operator Michael Hlozansky said Tuesday. “We’re in our 21st year. We’re now doing a sand replacement.”

Hlozansky said there are four filters at Cork Center, but two are being replaced by Jablonski Excavating because they are worn out.

“The reason for this [project] is age,” he said.

Second Ward Councilwoman Kathi Iannotti, the council’s liaison to the Water Board, said filters one and two will be done first, and filters three and four will be done in-house by department staff.

The city operates two slow sand filtration plants located west of the city in the town of Johnstown. They obtain their raw water from three separate sources: Cork Center, with a 140 million-gallon capacity; Christman reservoir, with a 10 million-gallon capacity; and Larrabee Reservoir, with a 40 million-gallon capacity. Water flows by gravity feed from the reservoir to each of the slow sand filtration plants.

Water is filtered through sand to remove any small particles and then disinfected with chlorine to protect against any contamination from harmful bacteria and other organisms.