Sewer upgrade flowing smoothly

JOHNSTOWN – The Gloversville-Johnstown Wastewater Treatment Facility’s $8 million upgrade to handle more whey waste from local dairy companies should be operational by year’s end, a sewer official said.

Plant Wastewater Engineer Tyler Masick said Monday the project is currently about 60 percent complete. He said startup is expected by year’s end.

The upgrade includes new stainless-steel whey tanks, new buildings and new engines. The multi-million dollar effort is known as the CAST upgrade project, which Masick said stands for Contact Absorption Settling Thickening process.

“The main part of the project is the CAST to treat whey coming from Euphrates and Fage,” he said.

Cheese manufacturer Euphrates Inc. and yogurt manufacturer Fage USA, both located at the Johnstown Industrial Park, are two of the sewer plant’s largest customers. With the ongoing $120 million upgrade by Fage USA, the sewage treatment plant has had to upgrade its technology to keep up with Fage, its top customer.

The $8 million upgrade is the second major project the sewer plant has done the past six years. The plant underwent a $10 million upgrade in 2008-09.

Vendors for this project include: C.O. Falter Construction Corp. of Syracuse – general construction; Amaha Electrical Inc. of Cohoes – electrical construction; Milton CAT of Clifton Park – engine and electrical switchgear work; and Family Danz of Albany – heating and ventilation construction.

An update on construction progress of the CAST upgrade was recently presented to the Gloversville-Johnstown Joint Sewer Board. Masick said engineer Eric Pond of Barton & Loguidice indicated installation of eight and 12-inch piping was completed. He said a headworks building was constructed over the washwater equalization tank. The building has been equipped with screening equipment and pumps, although roofing needs completion.

Officials said concrete at the equalization tank was being prepared for an application of protective coating. An old whey tank was removed and replaced with a new stainless steel tank. An additional new whey tank was also installed. Work on a generator building was started and will be equipped with instrumentation and control panels, officials said.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at manich@leaderherald.com.