The American Water Works Association (AWWA) New York Section selected the Star Lake Water Improvement Project as the surface water treatment “Project of the Year”.
The “Project of the Year” award was established to promote excellence in the management and administration in the water industry by recognizing the alliance between municipalities, project managers, consulting engineers, and contractors that by working together complete potable water projects. Criteria for the award include; the use of good construction management techniques, a good overall safety program during construction, community relations as evidenced by efforts to minimize public inconvenience during construction, protecting the environment and personal property during construction, and any other means of improving relations with the public.
The Star Lake Water Improvement Project began in June 2012 when the Town of Fine entered into an agreement with the Development Authority of the North Country to assist with the water treatment facility and distribution system assessments needed to develop an engineering request for proposals. Barton & Loguidice, D.P.C. was selected by the Town in August 2012 to prepare a “Preliminary Engineering Report (PER)” to evaluate current water system conditions and recommend conceptual design criteria to meet both the community needs and governmental authority requirements. The PER is required for prospective grant and/or low interest loan eligibility.
The Engineering Report identified that many components of the water system were original to the 1952 construction and require upgrades to meet current standards and user demands. Improvements identified included: seeking a potential new water source, upgrading the current diatomaceous earth filters if a groundwater source isn’t located, replacing the leaking steel storage tank with a new glass-fused-to-steel 250,000 gallon storage tank, installing approximately 40,000 ft of main line, expanding the water district to loop around the lake, interconnecting the former Woodhaven water district in the Town of Clifton, and providing the municipal golf course with unfiltered and untreated water for irrigation.
The $8.408 million project was approved for funding by the New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation (EFC) in April of 2015 via the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF).
$2,000,000 EFC Hardship Assistance Grant
$1,000,000 EFC WIIA NYS Water Infrastructure Improvement Act Grant
$ 100,000 NY State Senator Joseph Griffo Grant (DASNY)
$5,308,000 interest free financing for a term of 30 years
Construction bids were awarded to North Country Contractors, LLC (NCC) and new water main installation began in the fall of 2017 and continued through 2018. A new 250,000 water storage tank was put in service in July 2018. NYS Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services provided temporary filters to keep potable water supplied during construction. NCC is currently doing restoration work and completing meter installations.
The highlight of the upgraded water system is the new state-of-the-art Dakota Pump, Inc filtration package plant that was delivered in January 2019 and placed in service in April 2019. The WesTech AltaPac Ultrafiltration Filters use hollow fiber permeable membranes to remove organic particulates and macromolecules from the raw water to produce potable water. With a pore size of 0.01 microns, the membranes remove contaminants from the water by size separation. Bacteria such as giardia,
cryptosporidium, and E. coli, along with certain viruses, are too large to fit through the membrane pores and are prevented from entering the drinking water system. Chlorine is added to the water as an additional required disinfectant. The new automated system includes production cycles with automatic backwashes and cleaning. The system also has automated start, standby, and stop sequences based on storage tank levels. Residents should notice a more consistent, less turbid water quality.