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Wallkill Valley TimesWalden to upgrade sewer system

Walden to upgrade sewer system

The sewer system in Walden is poised for an upgrade as the village has secured a New York State Community Development Block Grant worth $75,000 to bolster its infrastructure. The CDBG funds will allow the village to fix problem areas found in the underground system.

“It’s going towards re-lining the sewer mains in the area of Valley Avenue,” Village Manager John Revella said of the grant. “We’re not allowed to start until we actually get the grant documents. We’ll also be doing smoke testing in conjunction with that to determine the best areas for the lining and to see where there may be potential infiltration.”

In a parallel matter, the Walden Village Board unanimously approved a resolution during its Dec. 5 meeting to approve a village settlement of $10,000 with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation for sanitary sewer overflow violations cited by the state agency. According to the consent order with the NYSDEC, the agency documented 13 sewer overflow violations in the village in a time period between January 2013 and July 2016. The agency also documented that the village “had two prohibited bypasses from Pine Street Pump Station on August 9, 2013 and Route 52 Siphon on March 12, 2014.”

The village has reached an agreement with the state to complete a checklist of items to renovate its sewer system, and as part of the settlement, an additional $10,000 civil penalty against the village has been suspended as long as Walden follows the schedule of compliance found in the consent order. A 2009 consent order with the NYSDEC that was modified in 2012 has been satisfied by the village regarding prior violations.

“We really have been proactive with the DEC,” Walden Mayor Susan Rumbold noted during the board meeting. “Talking to them, having dialogue, going over plans, re-going over plans. We finally got a consent order closed that we’ve had open for many, many years, so thanks everybody for your efforts on behalf of the village.”

The resolution authorizes Revella to execute the consent order with the NYSDEC, and the money the village will receive from the CDBG grant will allow Walden to complete a portion of the work required by the settlement. “This will actually help us to check off one of those items,” Revella said.

The sewer improvement will be made over the course of the next several years, and within six months of the effective date of the consent order, the village will be required to complete an engineering assessment report of the Tin Brook Pump Station Bypass, “which shall include recommendations for pump station improvements to eliminate sanitary overflows at the pump station.” Walden will also have to formulate plans, and then carry out improvements, on the NYS Route 52 Sewer Siphon area and the system’s headworks and primary clarifiers over the next three years. “Our entire system is not going to be changed in one day,” Revella told the board.

By Ted Remsnyder

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