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Bethel receives positive sewer system report

by Jacqueline Herman
Posted 10/3/23

The Bethel Sewer System Condition Report for the Kauneonga Lake Sewer District (KLSD) entails capital projects, existing conditions, permit compliance and future improvements. The report, as prepared …

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Bethel receives positive sewer system report


The Bethel Sewer System Condition Report for the Kauneonga Lake Sewer District (KLSD) entails capital projects, existing conditions, permit compliance and future improvements. The report, as prepared on September 6, 2023 by consultant K.C. Engineering and Land Surveying, P.C., cites seasonal fluctuations, which cause 1.5 to 2 times the load during the summer season, and which complicate operations. 

Excerpts from the report were read by Supervisor Dan Sturm at the Bethel Town Board meeting Wednesday, September 27.

The KLSD includes six pump stations and serves areas north, east, and south of White Lake, western properties along Route 17B, and Bethel Woods Center for the Arts. It does not include Smallwood. 

For consideration towards the future, the report suggests several improvements. These include the adding of a manual pump on pump rails for septage waste; adding a flow meter for mixed liquor return to oxidation ponds; replacement of a few blowers; new roofs over the clarifiers, which freeze in winter; and HVAC improvements in the blower building to extend equipment reliability.

Also suggested were the addition of telemetry communication and controls between Liff, Evergreen, and 17B pump stations to equalize flow to the Central Avenue station; and replacement of pump stations on W. Shore Road and W. Shore Drive as they have exceeded their useful life.

Recent issues arise

In September 2022 there was an overflow from two private parcels, which was caused by the emptying of a pool. The owner was advised to ensure that it didn’t recur. In May 2023, there was an overflow at a low point manhole. Significant repairs were made: sensors and pump contactors were replaced, motors were rewired and an alarm was installed. In addition, a separate high flow float and alarm was installed at a low point in the system near White Lake. The Operator reported all noncompliance events to the NYSDEC and corrections were made. 

There are no open noncompliance events. New connections require inspection by the Town, and individual connections to the Town Sewer require a permit. 

The $11M invested in upgrades since 2009 has been obtained through a zero percent interest loan.

The entire capacity of .6 million gallons a day is greater than the peak season flow of less than .3 MGD. The Operator runs one of two treatment trains, using half the facility’s capacity at a time. During wet weather flows, both trains are used.

Supervisor Dan Sturm stated, “We are not negatively impacting local waterways.”  


History of the system

Upgrades and installation of pumps and controls were performed at the Central Avenue and 17B pump stations in 2009 and 2011. Also in 2011, pumps and controls in the Liff and Evergreen stations were installed. There are emergency generators and alarms at the stations, and the upgrades improved flow conveyance.

In 2012, 3,000 linear feet of new sewer line was installed from Route 55 to the wastewater treatment facility. In 2013, new aeration diffusers, blowers and mixers for oxidation ponds were installed. In 2014, a new septic receiving station allowed the facility to receive septage from local haulers, which provided nutrient load to the facility and revenue to offset some KLSD costs.

By 2012, 25 percent of the sewer system was replaced, and through continual improvements until 2023, 60 percent of the collection system was replaced. 

The KLSD is operating in conformity with permit requirements, which place stringent limits on ammonia and phosphorous levels. The operator, H2O Innovation, (which reports to the Town) is responsible to regularly conduct routine wastewater testing, identify and report the need for repairs to or replacement of system components, and the direction of the maintenance crew. It is responsible for daily upkeep of the treatment facility, pump stations, and sewage collections.


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