Ticonderoga is in a position to meet a state mandate requiring work be completed on the town water system, according to Supervisor Deb Malaney. New York State has ordered upgrades and/or new water sources be in place by 2016.
Ticonderoga is in a position to meet a state mandate requiring work be completed on the town water system, according to Supervisor Deb Malaney.
New York State has ordered upgrades and/or new water sources be in place by 2016.
“The town of Ticonderoga is looking for an additional water source to meet the town’s growing needs and increasing New York State regulations,” Malaney said. “The town currently obtains its drinking water from Gooseneck Pond and Lake George. Both sources are needed to meet the needs of the community. The infrastructure for these sources is no longer in compliance with new state and federal requirements, and the state Department of Health is requiring the town to either upgrade these facilities or look for a new source of water.”
Failure to meet the 2016 deadline could result in fines of up to $37,000 a day for the town.
In 2009 the state Department of Health ordered Ti to replace or cover the Gooseneck reservoir, which was created in 1931. The town developed a plan to replace the reservoir with tanks, but an inspection discovered problems with the Gooseneck dam and with transmission lines.
Gooseneck was designed to serve the entire town, but over time demand exceeded Gooseneck’s capacity. In 1965 a Lake George water supply was developed for emergency use. Eventually, Lake George water became necessary to meet daily demand.
During an inspection the state also found problems at the Baldwin Road filtration plant that handles Lake George water.
At the urging of state officials, Ticonderoga then began considering an upgrade of the entire water system, utilizing groundwater sources.
“The total cost to bring the Gooseneck system back into compliance as the primary source is estimated to be $32 million, along with much needed repairs to the Lake George system,” Malaney said.
The plan to use groundwater proved unpopular with residents in the Chilson area, though. They want to retain water from Gooseneck Pond. Others want to use water from Lake George.
“Town residents have clearly said they want to keep Gooseneck and Lake George as sources,” Malaney said. “As a result, the proposed project includes elements that will allow the town to maintain its existing sources as well as incorporate the new source (groundwater) into the distribution system. This addition of groundwater will enable the town to control costs and give the town the ability to meet future water demands for the town’s water system.”
The cost of the combined Gooseneck-Lake George-groundwater project is estimated to be $13.8 million.
“In the end,” Malaney said, “simply pouring money into an unpredictable Gooseneck and Lake George water systems cannot be the only answer for the town’s water supply. Those two water sources, together with groundwater, will provide the town of Ticonderoga with what it needs — compliant, safe and reliable drinking water sources.”
A groundwater source, a well, has been identified in Street Road. A second well is now being drilled and officials are optimistic it will also meet requirements for quality and quantity.
“The decision to pursue groundwater has involved New York State agencies — Department of Health, Department of Environmental Conservation and APA, engineers, hydro geologists, funding and grant agencies, and legal counsel. All have helped us plan for the town’s aging infrastructure, compliance for current and future regulations, and the need for safe drinking water.”
Ticonderoga officials are seeking grants to cover the cost of the $13.8 million project.
“The town has been actively pursuing all avenues to obtain grant funding and low-cost loans to minimize the financial burden on users,” Malaney said. “The town currently has been successful in acquiring $2 million in grant funds and another $4 million in grant applications that the town will have confirmation on before the end of the year.
“That brings the project down to the $8-$10 million range, certainly no small amount, but far less than the total that would be needed to completely rehab the Gooseneck and Lake George water supplies,” she said.
Malaney is confident Ticonderoga will meet the state imposed 2016 deadline.
“So far, the state has recognized that the town is working diligently to meet its goals and in the past has worked hand-in-hand with the town as the project has moved forward,” she said. “However, if the town falters in their progress to move the project forward, it is likely that the state will step in and issue substantial fines.”
Despite the fact that Ticonderoga is surrounded by water, the town has a long history of insufficient water supply. Since the 1940s, the village and town have faced compliance issues with water quality standards and an aging infrastructure with portions dating back to the 1800s.
Information on the project is available on the town website at www.townofticonderoga.com