Trustees approve new aeration system to lower drinking water ‘disinfection byproducts’

large water holding tank
The Stillwater water tank on Dick Lynch Road

To help lower the unwanted formation of “disinfection byproducts” in the village’s drinking water supply, the Village Board of Trustees voted Tuesday (January 15) to purchase and install a new state-of-the-art aeration system for one of its water holding tanks.

The system, called Aeromax, will be piloted at the holding tank on Dick Lynch Road in hopes of lowering higher than acceptable levels of Trihalomethanes. Trihalomethanes are a byproduct of drinking water disinfection, which is needed to kill harmful organisms before the water can be consumed.

In village water samples collected between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31, 2012, the running annual average for Trihalomethanes was 86.8 micrograms per liter, exceeding New York State’s public drinking water standard of 80 micrograms per liter. Exceeding the standard is not an immediate health risk, but action needed to be taken by the village to reduce contaminant levels and lower the potential for long-term exposure.

The Aeromax system, used by other municipalities, can help reduce disinfection byproducts, like Trihalomethanes, by 36 percent, Department of Public Works Superintendent Robert Geraisa told the board. The system costs about $3,200 and operates on a 1-hp, 220-volt pump motor.

The basic principal of the Aeromax system is the water treatment method known as aeration.  The aerator system uses the pressure provided by the well pump to spray water into the air inside the holding tank. As this water is sprayed, disinfectant byproduct gases are able to be released from the water and escape through vents at the top of the tank.

If the system does what it’s manufactured to do and the next round of water samples come out cleaner, the village will look into installing Aeromax at its other water holding tanks.

Village Trustees also heard the following reports/updates and/or took the following action at the January meeting:

  • Village Historian Linda Sanders gave her annual report for 2012. Among the many activities undertaken last year, she and the office staff answered 20 requests for genealogy information from village residents, researched the Congressional and Baptist churches that first came to Stillwater 250 years ago, and assisted in the reunion of the 656th Radar Air Force Base, Ketchum’s Corners. Sanders also noted that the village will celebrate its bicentennial (200th birthday) in less than four years on April 17, 2016, so residents have plenty of time to mark their calendars.
  • Click here to view the entire 2012 Historian’s annual report
  • Trustee John Basile gave an update on finances related to the village Water and Sewer Departments:
  • Water Department: Basile explained that the amount of money the village budgeted this fiscal year for purchasing water from the Saratoga County Water Authority would most likely come up about $20,000 short. Billing for the first three quarters of the year shows village residents are using, on average, about 302,000 gallons of water per day from the authority. The village has a contract with SCWA for 300,000 gallons per day at $2.08 per 1,000 gallons. Based on the original contract the village had budgeted $230,000 to purchase water for the year, but that most likely will total about $249,000 instead. “We won’t know the exact amount until we get our final bill in April,” Basile said.
  • Sewer Department: The village’s sewer improvement project, on the other hand, is expected to come in “much less” than originally budgeted, Basile said. Final estimates for the work are about $2.6 million. The actual number will be known in May. Three of the four contractors have finished their work. Left to be completed over the next few weeks, weather permitting, is sealing about 30 manholes and making 30-40 pipe connections in various areas of the sewer system.
  • Trustee Ellen Vomacka reported that the liner for the village ice rink could not be used this winter because it was damage by mice during off-season storage. Setting up the rink was difficult this year without it so she suggested the village purchase a new liner for the winter of 2014. Vomacka also reported plans are in the works for the second winter festival and chili cookoff to be held in February, mostly likely during winter break week when students are out of school. A date will be announced shortly. Lastly, Vomacka announced the creation of a village Historical Committee where she and Trustee Judy Wood-Shaw would work closely with the village Historian’s Office on various matters pertaining to Stillwater history.
  • Trustee Judy Wood-Shaw reported that 25 people attended December’s village-sponsored Senior Socialization Program, held 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. the last Friday of each month at The Stillwater Area Community Center. The December program was a Christmas party. She also gave a brief update on the village Emergency Management Plan.
  • The Village Board adopted a resolution appointing Cynthia Briggs, Dorothy Demarco, Mary Moore and Kathy Wood election inspectors for the general village election to be held on Tuesday, March 19, 2013. Polls will be open noon to 9 p.m. at St. Peter’s Parish Center, 881 Hudson Ave., Stillwater.
  • The Fire Department responded to five alarms in December including two motor vehicle accidents. The department also conducted four drills during the month. Fire Chief Tony Conti also presented the department’s annual report for 2012, which included 427 firefighters responding to 62 total alarms during the year, and 446.5 total man hours spent attending to those alarms. The department also conducted 51 drills and played role in nine fundraising events.
  • Click here to review the entire 2012 annual Fire Department report
  • The Village Board also approved the appointment of two Junior Firefighters for the Department, Cody Smith and Anthony VanAmburgh, both age 16.
    Department of Public Works crews were busy plowing snow in December for the first storms of the winter. Superintendent Robert Geraisa reported that village residents did a good job moving their cars off the streets to allow plow operators to do their work. The department also spent many hours in December repairing and maintaining water and sewer pumps that malfunctioned. Geraisa also asked trustees to consider installing surveillance cameras at the village sewer plants (similar to what was done at the playground and ice rink) to prevent possible vandalism there.
  • Mayor Ernest Martin announced he is getting ready to put together the 2013-2014 village budget and asked Trustees come prepared at the February 19 monthly meeting to discuss possible additions and deletions for the coming fiscal year.