Amsterdam plans water project to replace filters

AMSTERDAM — An engineering firm has been hired for $34,500 to design a project to replace Amsterdam’s water utility filters that help prevent organic matter and disinfection byproducts from contaminating the public water supply. water. The Common Council on Tuesday approved a resolution hiring MJ Engineering to design and oversee permits and eventual tenders for the replacement and modification of granular activated carbon contactor subdrains used in the treatment and filtration serving utilities. waters of Amsterdam.

“Basically, they act a bit like big Brita filters,” explained Randy Gardinier, chief water station operator.

Carbon contactors naturally remove organic matter from the water that can react with disinfectants used during the treatment process. The reaction can create disinfection byproducts known as trihalomethanes or TTHMs. State and federal standards allow a maximum of 0.08 milligrams per liter of TTHM to be present in drinking water.

Although the city has not violated drinking water standards for organics or disinfection byproducts, Gardinier noted that there have been violations in the cities of Amsterdam and Florida where the water comes from the waterworks of Amsterdam. “That’s one of the ways we fight that,” Gardinier said. “To remove organics from the water so we don’t have these overshoots.”

The city installed five coal-fired contactors at the treatment plant 10 years ago, but two of the filters are no longer working and parts of the existing system are not providing sufficient response. MJ Engineering will design a project to replace the pair of non-functioning carbon contactors and modify the other three to prevent breakdowns and update the overall filtration process.

Engineering should be completed in time to send the project up for auction around June for construction to begin this summer.

The $34,500 design contract will be paid for with funds included in the water utility’s budget this year for improvements and upgrades that were transferred to the contract expense account through a budget transfer approved by the Town Council.

In related news, the council approved the hiring of Arcadis of New York for $116,900 to map the location of the transmission line carrying the city’s raw water supply from reservoirs at Glen Wild Watershed. in Saratoga County and to obtain permits and prepare tender documents for a clearing project around the pipe.

City Engineer Mike Clark briefed council earlier this month on the long-standing need to draw up an accurate map of the lower 18-mile section of the transmission line under Route 29 in Broadalbin and clear areas immediately surrounding the line to allow quick access.

Imprecise knowledge of the location of the 24-inch cast-iron transmission line dates back to its installation around 1895, when Amsterdam was largely undeveloped and the pipework was laid in farmland or open forest areas. Over time, houses and other structures were built around the line. In non-residential areas, the transmission line site has not been maintained for decades. Vegetation in some wooded areas away from access roads could take days to cross town if broken. The city would lose water pressure within 24 hours of a line break. The city holds easements extending about 40 feet around the transmission line area, but plans to only clear spans of about 20 feet around infrastructure in wooded areas.

The city originally included $325,000 in the current year’s budget for the project and received a $250,000 grant from the State Financial Restructuring Board for Local Governments to update the line map. city ​​water transport. City officials are expected to begin notifying residents around the transmission line area of ​​the project later this month via letter before holding public meetings to answer any questions and provide further details before the start of mapping work around mid-April.

Work on the transmission line area clearance site will likely be auctioned around July, with the selected contractor expected to begin around August with completion expected around March 2023.

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