Town filters out water problems

Emergency declared to expedite filter repairs

— A number of filters at the Mohawk View Water Treatment Plant need major repair, and although it will not impact the town’s drinking water, the Colonie Town Board passed a resolution on Thursday, Feb. 7, declaring an emergency so as to immediately inspect and fix the faulty filters.

The Mohawk View Water Treatment Plant has 10 filters that each filter about 3 million gallons of water from the Mohawk River each day. In 2005, six of the filters were rehabbed and as of this past year, three have had significant failure allowing particulates like sand to begin passing through the filter. Now, with the emergency implemented, the town Deaprtment of Public Works can immediately begin fixing three of the filters that are failing. The repairs will take several months.

Filters have a life expectancy of about 20 to 25 years. Town of Colonie Department of Public Works Commissioner Jack Cunningham said officials are concerned the filters failed so early in their lifetime. He added the problems do not affect the town’s drinking water.

“The residents should know what’s going on, but the town is not at risk,” Cunningham said. “The purpose of declaring the emergency is allowing us to expedite the repair of the filters.”

With its 10 filters, the plant supplies water to 82,000 people within the town and can produce 31 million gallons of drinking water daily, Cunningham said, even with up to three filters offline. During the summer, which is the time of highest water use, there is an average flow of 22 million gallons of water per day. With the low demand of winter, there should be no strain on the plant.

The worst-case scenario, Cunningham said, is that by summer town officials may need to start water conservation measures, such as limiting the watering of lawns.

“We’ll always have water, always be able to produce water,” Cunningham said. “We will never reach a point where we’re telling people we don’t have water.”

Once the repairs on the main three filters are complete, Cunningham said the DPW would look at the other three that are causing some concern.

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